Wednesday, October 3, 2007

"Carpoolers" Recap & Review - "Pilot"


Original Air Date: October 2, 2007

Jeff L - TwoCents Staff Writer

The show opens with the four guys in the car listening to All Out of Love by Air Supply. Aubrey (Jerry Minor, Lucky Louie) breaks the ice by singing along and soon the whole car is lost in Love with all the guys singing along, but Aubrey breaks down and stars crying. It turns out he lost his virginity to this song, well the first verse anyway.

Aubrey is the first ‘Pooler we meet and he’s got a Full House and a wife (or at least some feet that are supposed to be his wife). Aubrey pulls up the house to pick up Dougie who’s wife and baby wait to see him off on his first day of carpooling. Cindy has baked some cookies for the occasion but Aubrey won’t let anyone eat in his car, or drink coffee.

Next we’re in the fancy kitchen of Gracen and Leila (Fred Goss, Sons and Daughters and Faith Ford, Murphy Brown). Gracen enjoys the toast Leila has prepared and he ought to enjoy it since the new toaster cost $200, but not to worry, Leila says, she used “her money” to buy it. Their son Marmaduke (T.J. Miller) arrives in the kitchen to scoop up all the breakfast and head back into his room for his online job interview.

Back in the car Aubrey tells Dougie that they’re waiting for Dr. Laird (Jerry O’Connell, Crossing Jordan) the womanizing dentist who’s going through a divorce. Laird arrives he and Gracen join the carpool. The ‘Poolers discuss their wives and money. They road rage over traffic and parking spots and then Laird and Gracen discuss his wife spending $200 on a toaster. Dr. Laird thinks that Leila is making more money at her real estate job than Gracen is pulling down and vows to find out exactly how much money she makes.

So Gracen is a therapist. (I was worried that the entire should would be set in a car with those annoying fake driving down the road scenes playing on the green screen rear window the entire time, but thankfully we don’t just see the Carpoolers in the car.) Dr. Laird breaks up a therapy session to tell him that he’s found out how much money his wife Leila has in her account. Turns out being a dentist is better than being a detective, since he had a whitening session/sleep over with a woman who works at Gracen’s bank.

Now that the information is at hand, he doesn’t want to know how much money she has in the bank. He tells Dr. Laird to burn the number.

Back home his son Marmaduke nails his online job interview, even without any pants and he calls his dad in the car to tell his dad the good news. Turns out his son will be making more money than him in his new job. The guys give Gracen a hard time about who wears the pants in his family and Gracen goes home to find his wife and son celebrating and they fight over who gets to buy the celebratory dinner. Gracen isn’t hungry and later asks Leila how much money she makes. She doesn’t tell him and tries to initiate sex. That’s the last straw for Gracen who calls Dr. Laird and demands to know how much money she has. He’s unprepared and flips out when he hears the number.

The next morning the ‘Poolers are waiting outside Gracen’s house, but Marmaduke (still pantsless) comes out instead to tell them that his dad isn’t going to work because he’s too depressed. Dr. Laird and Dougie fight about Gracen and Laird kicks Dougie out of the carpool. Back home we see Dougie and his wife fretting about how he’s going to get to work since they only have one car and a baby at home. Dougie shows up and Laird’s to discuss the carpool. Laird’s ex-wife has really cleaned him out. His apartment is empy except for a piece of exercise equipment, a small tv and a pile of phone books. Turns out his wife’s lawyer just got off the phone and he has to give her the exercise equipment too. “What’s next” he asks “my phonebooks?” They patch things up and decide that in order to save Gracen they need to steal his $200 toaster. They round up Aubrey and head over to Gracen’s to do some breaking and entering. They crawl in through a kitchen window and are busted by Marmaduke (does this guy EVER wear pants?) but he just says “Hi guys” and walks off. They grab the toaster and a blender and a bottle of wine and start to crawl back out the window when Gracen and his wife catch them. Gracen comes clean that he doesn’t like the way his wife throws her money around and the guys leave but accidently break the toaster on the way out. Gracen tells his wife he was jealous because she makes more money than him and she denies it. He tells her he’s seen her bank balance and she’s mad about his snooping but explains that the money in the account wasn’t hers. It belonged to the mortgage company and was only in her account temporarily. They make up and decide to pool their money in a joint account.
All is well with the Carpoolers.

This show is funny, well written, well acted, well directed and well cast. It’s sad that it has Cavemen as a lead-in but I don’t expect that to last. Bruce McCulloch (Kids in the Hall) has created a great new show. I hope people will watch it. ABC hasn’t done well with sitcoms (Knights of Prosperity) lately so it may be an uphill battle. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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