Will fart jokes kill "The Millers" right out of the gate?
That seems to be every critic's question. Bu now that the show has premiered, will viewers find anything else about the show enjoyable? Everyone seems to agree that creator Greg Garcia and company have assembled a stellar cast, with Will Arnett as a recently-divorced man whose parents -- played by Beau Bridges and Margo Martindale -- decide to split after they find out.
Mom moved in with Arnett's Nathan, while Dad headed over to stay with Nathan's sister, Debbie (Jayma Mays). And then, there it was. Nathan walked through his living room. His mother, Carol, was sitting on the couch.
“Did you fart?” he asked her.
After sniffing the air, she replied, “Yes ... this happens when you’re older. They just slip out.”
Critics weren't impressed with the lowbrow humor. "I’m not saying the show as a whole can’t be saved, but this first effort needed some refinement," wrote Entertainment Weekly's Samantha Highfill. "The characters are too simplified (other than Arnett’s), their traits are too big, and the actual laugh-out-loud moments are too hard to find."
Garcia defended the flatulence humor to TV Guide. "There's a minute of farting — not even farting — fart jokes in the pilot. It's a minute of a 21-minute pilot," he pointed out. "There's a scene with a few jokes and a callback at the end. It's not like, 'Oh my God, my farting mother has moved in with me! What the hell am I going to do?' The basic fact is: If it wasn't getting laughs, it wouldn't have stayed in."
Can "The Millers" survive fart-gate and find an audience? The comedy continues on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS.
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