TV Time: The Actor’s Choice

I recently discovered that Robin Williams is going to be in a TV show debuting this fall on CBS, “The Crazy Ones.” Isn’t it the first show he’s done since “Mork & Mindy”? If so, does that count as a “step backwards” for him?

It’s not that I don’t like Robin Williams; there are times when I love him. I can’t imagine anyone else inhabiting his roles in Dead Poets Society, Awakenings, Hook, Mrs. Doubtfire, The Birdcage and Good Will Hunting the way he did. His appearance on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” also rose above the usual standards for the perfunctory big-star-does-SVU situation. I am not, however, going to lie and say that the preview for “The Crazy Ones” looks funny because it doesn’t. It looks terrible.

There is a fine line between doing a TV show to further your career and doing a TV show because there are no better options available for you. I can understand Rebel Wilson doing a show (“Super Fun Night”) if it furthers her growing career. On the other hand, when I saw that Toni Collette is now on a CBS show called “Hostages,” I thought, Really? (Then I remembered that she won an Emmy for the Showtime show “The United States of Tara,” although, let’s face it, Showtime is considered fancier than CBS. I guess that’s why I never thought twice about it at the time.) If Robin Williams has to do a TV show, can’t it at least have a better title than “The Crazy Ones”? Are writers becoming so sloppy that they can’t even find a better adjective than “crazy” to reel in viewers?

At least James Spader got the hint that NBC is generally the way to go. Their shows are better than what most networks produce. And kudos to him for deciding to be even weirder than usual by shaving his hair for “The Blacklist,” which was his own idea. There’s baldness! There’s hats! I can’t wait.

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