Before NBC’s “Community” captured the hearts of primetime TV, Fox’s acclaimed yet prematurely cancelled “Undeclared” prevailed as a fabulous college show. Therefore, TBS rationalized and risked producing a show with a college setting. “Glory Daze,” the latest college TV dud, is their latest attempt.
For the past two years, TBS has marketed their network as “Very Funny,” but failed to live up to their slogan. Beyond reruns, Conan O’Brien and Tyler Perry, TBS offers meager substance. George Lopez’s talk show has its moments, but the quality of offerings is offensive. “Glory Daze” is no exception.
The show looked promising with a 1980s college setting. Beyond bad stereotypes and cheesy attire, “Glory Daze” proved dim, drab, dry and dull. The show follows four freshmen entering Hayes University in Fall 1986.
Joel (Kelly Blatz), your average guy, recently graduated from private high school and is studying pre-med. Desperate virgin Eli (Matt Bush), baseball player Brian (Hartley Sawyer) and conservative preppy Jason (Drew Seeley), who all reside on the same dorm floor, round out the freshman gang. The foursome explore college and pledge a fraternity.
Filled with jaded jokes, “Glory Daze” falls flat on its face as a throwback show. Acid-washed jeans, new wave music, Reaganomics and bad 1980s references can only ramble so far.
In the pilot, David Koechner and Tim Meadows co-star as experienced, veteran and weathered scene stealers. Koechner, Brian’s baseball coach, communicates that baseball should occupy the majority of Brian’s time. Brian’s father believed that “ball comes first, second and third,” to which Koechner replies, “Smart man. My dad took me to a whorehouse when I was 12 to teach me the difference between sex and love. Aren’t dads great?”
Tim Meadows portrays Professor Haines, a recently divorced and extremely liberal professor. On the first day of class, Haines pokes fun of Joel’s insecurities when Joel sits next to his “dream girl” Christie (Julianna Guill) and disrupts his class lecture. Haines ridicules Joel by saying, “This may be the only thing you do with a girl during your entire college career.”
From the minds of Walt Becker and Michael Leisure, nothing firmly gels in this one-hour comedy. “Glory Daze” communicates very few redeeming qualities beyond a stellar soundtrack. Glimpses of “Animal House” and references to 1980s films are not sufficient enough to salvage or save this college sitcom. This show tries too hard to emulate classic college clichés rather than composing original lines. Like most dated comedies, it relies heavily on the soundtrack to move the story along.
Beyond Bush (as Eli) and Meadows (as Professor Haines), the cast is generally not entertaining, but when they are funny, they are spot-on. “Glory Daze” demonstrates D-worthy material, but could eventually blossom into a low C grading. The show premieres Nov. 16 at 10 p.m.