'The Millers': Can Margo Martindale, Will Arnett and other comedy geniuses fail?

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"The Millers" came to the TCA press tour on Monday (July 29), bringing stars Margo Martindale, Will Arnett, Beau Bridges and JB Smoove along with creator Greg Garcia ( "Raising Hope," "My Name Is Earl"). The presentation was hilarious. The talent is considerable.

Can the show possibly live up to this potential?

Unfortunately, the pilot episode doesn't come close to what it should be. This panel for press, however, offers some hope that things will improve rapidly on "The Millers."

Why?

  • Greg Garcia acknowledged that there were problems with the original pilot (the only one seen by press and therefore the one on which this opinion is based). There have since been rewrites and recasting.

  • One big criticism of "The Millers" from many would be the number of fart jokes that seem to be a part of it. While Garcia strongly defended the hilarity of farts ("There's really no arguing the fact that farts and s*** jokes are funny."), he did note that later episodes have fewer jokes about bodily excretions.

  • Everyone on the show was desperate to do a multi-camera sitcom. Garcia praised the energy of the form, while both Will Arnett and Margo Martindale called the sitcom one of their life goals.

  • The cast seems fond of each other. That helps.

  • Everyone in the presentation was both funny and rather weird. Funny and rather weird are the two things that best combine into sitcom success.

Will it all work? Or is "The Millers" going to be a case of too many TV cooks spoiling the comedy broth?


Among the funny things they said ...

"If you spend any time with them, you think my mom is a horrible person ... Then you spend time with my dad and turn into my mother." - Greg Garcia on his inspirations

"A lot of people just sit around and talk and eat and stuff. And I don't like that." - Margo Martindale (she was talking about liking to work)

"There's an energy to it that's a lot of fun, that I kind of forgot about." - Greg Garcia on multi-camera comedies

"Gosh, what a pain in the neck it is to sit and write." - Greg Garcia

"What brought us all together was a love of 'Dirty Dancing.'" - Will Arnett
"We met at a convention." - Greg Garcia

"It's a different move that hopefully I have." - Will Arnett on being a straight-man character

"I think all I've played is moms since I was 16!" - Margo Martindale (seriously)

"I always wanted to be on a sitcom. I always wanted to be on a sitcom. I just started killing people along the way." - Margo Martindale

"Unfortunately the actors played the price for that." - Greg Garcia on the characters needing to be rewritten because he didn't do it well enough the first time

"There's a run of fart jokes in the pilot." - Greg Garcia, making Margo Martindale laugh until she cries

"I will never fart on your show." - Beau Bridges to Greg Garcia

"There's really no arguing the fact that farts and s*** jokes are funny. And have their place on TV." - Greg Garcia, being far too serious about fart jokes

"That kind of took on a life -- or a death -- of its own." - Will Arnett on the end of "Up All Night"

"I'm watching white people do crazy stuff. But I'm also a part of it. I like egging white people on." - JB Smoove

"Have you guys heard of this wave of ... What's it called? Sexually transmitted diseases among older people." - Beau Bridges

"Beau doesn't want to fart on the show, but he has no trouble with getting chlamydia." - Greg Garcia

Photo/Video credit: CBS