Pilot Watch: "Cavemen"

Pilot Watch: "Cavemen"


The networks have announced their fall schedules, but which of the series will actually be worth watching? Throughout the summer, as I watch the pilots, I'll be posting my first impressions. A lot can change before a show makes it to air, so these aren't comprehensive reviews, just quick thoughts on how the shows look now. Today's installment: ABC's much-mocked "Cavemen."

What's it about? Based on the Geico caveman commercials, the show centers on a trio of young cavemen combating stereotypes in modern-day San Diego.

Who's in it? Nick Kroll, Bill English, Sam Huntington, Kaitlin Doubleday

The good: "Cavemen" has been reviled, laughed at and critically savaged since the moment it was announced, so the best thing I can possibly say about this episode is that it wasn't as bad as I was expecting. A few of the jokes were even a little bit — wait for it — funny, and some of the little details were clever; I've had a picture of one of the cavemen reading the Economist set as the background on my computer for months.

The bad: Even though it was better than expected, "Cavemen" still wasn't worth watching for any reason other than laughing at its expense. At best, it was a 30-second joke poked and prodded until it was more than 20 minutes long; at worst, it was an awkward, clumsy racial allegory.

Will I watch? ABC has announced a lot of changes to the show since producing the pilot I saw. One of the cavemen has been recast, and the episode I saw won't air as the premiere on TV. Even so, I didn't see anything in the pilot (or hear anything at the TCA tour) that makes me think the show will be better even with the adjustments.

ABC has preview clips online, and to see a gallery of photos, read more

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Photos copyright 2007 ABC, Inc.

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