To be fair, I watched four episodes. I had high hopes. I loved the movie and maybe that’s what got in the way. The movie is a comedy classic and it’s hard to re-envision the genius that was John Candy and John Hughes. That’s where I think Will Packer Productions went wrong. I think they tried too hard to be John Hughes’ Uncle Buck. They tried too hard to be that style of comedy!
I say that because this is the writing staff and what they are known for:
Trained as a screenwriter, as well as a fiction writer, I have laughed at jokes that I’ve written only to have my readers slide over them without a peep. What? I know I’m amusing. I make people laugh all the time. But. That doesn't always translate well from the page and I think that’s what’s going on with this show. The writers think “This gag is great!” and on the page it is but falls flat on screen. It could be the actors execution too, however you can have all the acting chops and comedic timing in the world but if you have a bad script, you have a bad script.
Was it the directors? Well, here are your directors:
Will Packer’s been a busy guy and perhaps didn’t have the time to devote to proper development. If it were me, I sure would have put this show on the back burner for Roots too. (Not saying that he did, but it could have been a contributing factor.)
Uncle Buck has previous history on TV. It was series that ran on CBS from September 1990 – March 1991. Remember, the movie was released in 1989 and still fresh in the minds of viewers so it seemed the perfect timing for it. At some point between 1991 and 2014 Universal sold the rights (or loaned them) to Will Packer Productions for the 2016 series.
The original series' premise is that Buck Russell gets custody of the kids after Cindy and Bob Russell are killed in a car accident, however this attempt didn’t survive as it was up against the ABC hit Full House, when ABC was known for its comedy lineup.
The 2016 version of Uncle Buck, the parents are present. In the movie and the first series attempt the parents were removed in some fashion. Maybe that’s what this iteration of Uncle Buck needs. Buck needs to struggle more for this to be funny, organically, and not forced. (And if you’ve seen the show…boy does it feel forced.) Perhaps this is why it's not funny. They are trying way too hard to be different from the original. If the original worked why not stick with it?
Let’s face it. The show isn’t as amusing as black-ish, Modern Family, or even The Big Bang Theory. (Psst, btw Galavant was much funnier!) There are funnier things out there. Go, find them!
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College graduate, Army vet, single mom, Husky mom, Movie lover, writer