Hackneyed script wastes talents of 2 good 'Comedians'

April 8, 2015 5:43 PM

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No doubt a reference to a deceased art form is not what FX hoped for when it ordered The Comedians (Thursday, 10 p.m. ET/PT, ** stars out of four), a backstage comedy about the creation and destruction of a new sketch show. Unfortunately, what FX got was a series that takes one good idea — pairing Billy Crystal and Josh Gad — and negates it with a show that plays like a sour, unamusing version of Showtime's Episodes, rewritten for Laurel and Hardy.

Shot as a mockumentary — a format that needs to be rested if not retired —The Comedians casts Crystal and Gad as fictional versions of themselves, as Episodes does more successfully with Matt LeBlanc. Crystal has pitched a comedy/variety show in which he plays all the parts, but FX's president (Deni...

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