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'Blacklist,' Michael J. Fox, and fall TV trades - Grantland


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The Show: The Crazy Ones (CBS)As I wrote last week, Robin Williams's clown car of a comeback vehicle doesn't need any help on the commercial side: It's a monster hit. But creatively it's not where it needs to be, particularly due to the show's massive gender imbalance: Williams and James Wolk spend each episode riffing and preening, gobbling up oxygen and attention like first-year drama students, while the once-formidable Sarah Michelle Gellar is left to fume and fluster. What Williams's Simon Roberts needs isn't a child who acts like his mother. It's a child who acts like him — only better. The one thing that can drown out crazy is more crazy, and a show about a formerly out-of-control father forced to handle his out-of-control daughter is a lot more interesting than a show about a grown man doing Three Stooges bits in public. Thankfully, I know just the actor who can play that daughter — and her show is in even worse shape than The Crazy Ones, meaning a straight-up swap would be attractive to both sides.

THE TRADE

Super Fun Night RECEIVES Sarah Michelle Gellar.

The Crazy Ones RECEIVES Rebel Wilson.

THE RATIONALE

Rebel Wilson deserves better. She's a remarkably funny, physically fearless performer who proved in Pitch Perfect and Bachelorette that she's able to toggle smoothly between genuine emotion and bra-exposing buffoonery. And yet she's marooned on Super Fun Night, a dreadful weekly prison of her own making. That Wilson wrote and produced this hyperactive mess — currently dying a slow, unfun death in the plum post–Modern Familyslot on Wednesdays — is a knock against her own instincts, but it says nothing about her ability to elevate other people's material. Dropping her into the staid, pleased-with-itselfCrazy Ones would unsettle things in the best possible way. Wilson can go toe-to-toe with Williams in any situation and, better, she'd do so as a comedic peer, not a sycophant. (That Williams's character bottomed out as an alcoholic while on a boozy walkabout in Australia is almost too perfect. Here comes Rebel, the Aussie love child he didn't know he had!) Right now The Crazy Ones is crazy only in the way it's crazy to have a second spoonful of Pinkberry or to sleep in till 7:15. Its survival is as predictable as its plots. Adding Rebel Wilson would be the spark of actual insanity the show needs to thrive.

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