“The Crazy Ones” is about a father and daughter team (played by Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar, respectively) who run an advertising company. Most episodes revolve around their attempts to meet their client’s needs while also manuevering through their somewhat dysfunctional relationship.
One thing that “The Crazy Ones” does particularly well is stay true to its title. After watching about two episodes of the show, it’s almost impossible not to end up questioning everyone’s sanity, from Sydney, the workaholic daughter who needs to be forced to take a vacation, to Lauren (Amanda Setton), the creepy stalker-ish assistant at the office. Then there is Simon Roberts, who is a whole bag of cats all on his own. His craziness is the most obvious of all, and most episodes hinge on how his idiosyncrasies can benefit, or harm, the day to day aspects of the business and the lives of those around him, particularly Sydney.
“The Crazy Ones” does not shy away from admitting that Simon Roberts is basically all of Robin Williams’s previous comedic characters rolled into one. He often slips into the funny voices and weird intonations that he’s famous for. However, this doesn’t usually hurt the show, since everyone around Williams compliments him quite well. As mentioned, everyone has a touch of crazy in them, but Simon Roberts is clearly the winner of that particular game. The only slightly confusing thing is how the hell that group of people can manage an entire business, and that has been at the crux of many episodes so far.
As far as the interactions between the characters, there is one duo that works better than the rest; hint, it’s not the father-daughter duo. Rather, the two characters who appear to have the best chemistry are Simon and Zach (James Wolk), one of the art directors at the agency. Wolk and Williams seem to bounce of off each other so easily and comfortably. Often, their interactions carry most of the comedy. Their natural chemistry can also be seen in the bloopers that appear at the end of each episode. Thanks to their chemistry, it’s completely believable that Zach is the younger version of Simon. In fact, one of the best episodes of the season so far (Episode 2, The Spectacular) featured a subplot of Simon trying to reconcile the fact that he has been picking favourites between his employees.
A Broken Record
While the chemistry between Zach and Simon is completely believable, one aspect of “The Crazy Ones” that can sometimes be hard to believe is the relationship between Sydney and Simon. As father and daughter, they have their believable moments, but more often than not, the relationship feels a little forced and awkward. The show attempts to make up for that by blaming it on Simon’s bad parenting, but that isn’t always enough. This wouldn’t be too big of a problem, if it was n’t for the fact that the show bills itself as one about a father and daughter duo trying to take over the advertising industry and so on. The relationship is very important, but is rarely the strongest aspect of an episode. Focusing so much on the father-daughter dynamic would have been fine for the first two episodes or so, but “The Crazy Ones” has been coming back to it almost every episode since, and it’s getting a tad annoying. He was a terrible father; we get it. Let’s focus on the present. Now.
Over all, “The Crazy Ones” is a solid show. You are guaranteed a couple of laughs each episode, and many of the characters have comfortable, believable interactions that are quite amusing. It’s when you start thinking and analyzing the show that the cracks begin to appear. Admittedly, the show has been getting better, so I wouldn’t cross it off of your list just yet.
My Rating: 6.5/10