DVD Review: The Millers (Season 1)

Tom (Beau Bridges) and Carol (Margo Martindale) are at that point in life where the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter than the one at the beginning. Freshly divorced, the two wind up living with their children as The Millers explores what happens when middle aged children (Will Arnett, Jayma Mays) have to deal with their parents moving in with them.

It’s wacky shenanigans and exploring the family dynamic as we age, of course, and the show is about as awful as you’d expect it to be. There aren’t many jokes beyond the premise, which admittedly has potential. Plenty of comedies are about children moving back in with their parents; parents moving in with children hasn’t been explored as in depth as it should. It can be interesting to see the power dynamic reversed; children moving back in with their parents en masse has been a depressing reality of this latest recession.

Parents being forced to move in with their adult children is something that could be interesting and there’s plenty of potential in the premise of this series. There’s also plenty of talent involved, as well, so you’d think this should be something good. The problem is that this is a CBS show, which follows a predictable format on a regular basis.

Tom and Carol get into wacky shenanigans as they explore life for the first time as single adults, unable to fully cope without their longtime partners. Throw in their exasperated children, constantly marveling at their shenanigans, and it’s the usual sort of straight man and wacky sidekick comedy but doubled because now we have a pair of kids and a pair of parents. “It’s wacky!” and such as designed for the usual mouth breathing, lowest common denominator crowd that makes up network television situation comedy audiences. It’s the same type of formula that has propelled Two and a Half Men and others into solid ratings; The Millers follows the same sort of predictable plot each episode and after a while it’s fairly predictable regularly.

It’s also terrible, as well, as it’s patently unfunny on a regular basis and follows the sort of predictable gags that people who confused what Sarah Palin said and what Tina Fey’s impression of her on Saturday Night Live said would find funny.

The Millers is the show that you hope just serves as something for talented people to be able to pursue passion projects, to allow them some financial freedom to pursue something more artistic than dreck like this.

A handful of EPK pieces, some audio commentary and a gag reel highlight a sparse set of extras.

Paramount Home Entertainment presents The Millers (Season 1). Created by Greg Garcia. Starring Beau Bridges, Margo Martindale, Will Arnett, Jayma Mays, J.B Smoove. Running time: 495 minutes. Released: August 19, 2014.

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