Christopher Meloni Excels on Fox's New Comedy, 'Surviving Jack'


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
Bad news for Christopher Meloni fans and his 'Surviving Jack' series: I liked it. Frankly, this means the show's odds on surviving the season are slim. It's not that I'm a jinx to television shows or anything, but let's just say that back in 1990, I was one of the eight loyal viewers to 'Cop Rock.' More recently, 'The Whole Truth' died a quick death in 2010 and 'Hellcats' had a similar fate in 2011. Both are examples of series I loved that the rest of the public did not. It is not that I loved 'Surviving Jack' exactly, but I did get through the entire thirty minute comedy without thinking 'ugh' and reaching for the remote control. That is huge for me, as modern day comedies and I normally do not get along.

While not truly a fan of Meloni, I remember him from years back on 'The Fanelli Boys' and then 'Law and Order: SVU.' Though I didn't watch either show with regularity, Meloni somehow made an impression on me that leaves me curious, curious enough to finally tune in a new show with him in the starring role.

Basically, Meloni plays stay-at-home dad Jack Dunlevy. His wife, Joanne (Rachael Harris), has gone back to college, leaving Jack to tend to their teenage kids, played by Connor Buckley and Claudia Lee. The main thrust of the pilot episode had Jack's son preoccupied with naked women via television and magazines he had buried in the backyard. Oddly, I was not turned off by this storyline as I normally would have been. Rather, I was somewhat amused by how Jack handled it, always remaining calm and coming up with unorthodox solutions for dealing with his son's new interests, like sending him for a neighborhood run at 3 in the morning.

Meloni was a kick to watch. His character is supposed to be somewhat no-nonsense, but there is a quirkiness about Jack that I find appealing. Joanne is supportive and assertive both as she does her best to make sure her husband handles issues appropriately. So far, the two teens come across as normal and not exaggerations or aggravations. The bonus: a lack of profanity and crudeness, two things that will get me to change the channel in a heartbeat.

Beware, because I'm curious enough to tune in for the next episode when it airs on Fox again this Thursday and that spells trouble for this show's chance of longevity. The premier only drew in a 1.3 demographic share for the prime 18-49 age group. Did I mention I am not in the that age bracket?