In this new series, The Great Indoors, Jack (Joel McHale of Community) is faced with the personally difficult task of staying indoors with the younger crowd to manage the digital publication side of an outdoors adventure magazine. Jack has been all over the world, seen and done things that his millennial tech team-members have only heard of, and now he must wrangle his wild-side to stay with the magazine he has loved for so long.
Also starring is Stephen Fry as Roland, the owner of the publication called Outdoor Limits, who is Jack’s mentor and the hilarious elder of the group. The team of youngsters include the guy who finds outdoor fashion hip but has never been outdoors, the social media savvy gal who doesn’t understand anyone who doesn’t tweet, and a self-proclaimed expert on all things zombie and outer space. Jack’s mission is to show these screen-junkies how to appreciate nature while fighting the urge to hurt them, and come to terms with their mutual misunderstandings.
Critics have not been too kind to this new series, something that is reflected in the mediocre Metacritic score of 51 based on 27 reviews. Those who are positive in their reviews report that the comedic timing is on point, and the actors’ performances within this kooky office atmosphere are great for light-weight entertainment.
Others say that McHale and Fry will be the ones who carry this show, which doesn’t work well if it is geared toward millennials, as that crowd won’t really know or connect with either of them. The showrunners should choose which audience to focus on, either millennials or those who match McHale’s generation, in order to develop a strong fan base. Trying to appeal to both may prove difficult and hurt this budding show’s rating going forward.
IMDb voters rank the new show at a lackluster 5.8 out of 10 with nearly 300 votes cast. Not a great start for the show overall, but viewers are commenting that they haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. Those who find the luring tactics of Internet marketing farcical enjoyed the jokes and found their attention was held nicely. Some who are fans of Stephen Fry note that he left the long running British game show, QI, to join this series as a regular, and they were both disappointed in his role and his choice to jump the pond.
The series debuted on October 27, 2016, and earned a lower-than-expected rating of 1.0 after the adjustments were made for the NFL offsets. The saving grace was the viewership, with 8.81 million watching the premiere episode after a nice lead-in from The Big Bang Theory.
That may not be enough to keep the show running, if the rating doesn’t increase soon. That said, it was still the second highest viewership across all networks for the night, which is a very positive mark for GI.
With McHale’s popularity, and a show format that allows for numerous comedic beats, the show may just make it to see a second season. CBS has not made any announcements yet about the future of this series, and it’s just too soon to predict how it will go.
#GreatIndoors airs Thursday nights at 8:30pm ET on CBS.
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