3 out of 5
Created by: ?
covers season 1
Of the ‘fictionalized reality’ type of media – celebrities playing themselves in an embellished version of whatever lives they lead – Return of the Mac casts New Kid Joey McIntyre as New Kid Joey McIntyre, looking (with his befuddled Costello agent to Joey’s Abbott) for the new opportunity to put himself back on the map. His idea is a TV show – a tough cop something or other – and he garners some support from an Oxygen-like network, only to find out that the support only holds if it’s going to be a talk show. His back and forth on this decision takes up episode one, and then the remaining six (aired so far – it’s unclear if this was a whole season, if it’s on a break, or if it’s canceled… there’s very little info on the show) cover the foibles involved with bringing in music directors and co-hosts – culled from other post-boy band stars – and Joey’s battles to keep the show in line with something he can tolerate. The absurdity and fickleness of media is what the show mines for humor, populating the remaining cast with crazy and / or manipulative producers, and Joey’s wife – starting back on her own career path – seemingly immune to his obsessive need to feel productive in some manner.
The humor is, most of the time, fairly forced (the foibles ain’t exactly organic or original), and the humor fiddles with the risque but could often afford to be a bit more challenging; that said, the main cast – and especially Joey – bring an earnestness and sense of honesty to things that make this forced humor funnier than it might otherwise be, and surprisingly watchable. Although it’s possible you’re half embarrassed while watching, the other half is rooting for the Joey, and for the promise burbling ‘neath the show’s surface to take over.