Published on October 7th, 2008 | by Erich Becker0
Testees – Pilot (01×01)
FX’s run with un-PC comedies has weathered the cable storm of the years with successes like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and failed opportunities like Starved, now FX is bringing former South Park writer Kenny Hotz’s Testees to the small screen as a companion to Philadelphia, and while the series does induce a few laughs in its debut, the show still has a lot to live up to.
Testees is, at times during the pilot episode, a live action version of South Park, the characters are inherently dim-witted but likable, and the social norm-bashing is certainly in place, however Peter (Steve Markle) and Ron (Jeff Kassel) are no Stan and Kyle, they fall into place with what ever comes their way rather than point out the irrational behavior of everyone else a la the aforementioned animated duo.
Peter and Ron are introduced to the audience sifting through the couch in their rundown apartment looking for rent money, while a suggesting is made to just “buy more couches” in search of money, the pair return to their jobs at Testico testing out products with Peter usually receiving the product and Ron lucky enough to be rewarded with a placebo. Upon their return they’re entered into a clinical trial which, after a few days of gestation, appears to make Peter pregnant. The two prepare for their child as you’ve probably seen on nearly every sitcom known to man, however it doesn’t take a Hollywood writer to see where this is ultimately going. And that’s the problem with Testees, its almost too obvious at times what is going to happen, sometimes running the jokes completely.
There are a few jokes that sneak up on you, such as Peter attempting to abort his unplanned pregnancy with a coat hanger up his rear end, and as offensive as you think it might be, you have to realize that these guys aren’t the brightest bulbs in the chandelier.
A B-story with fellow product tester Larry (Kenny Hotz) and his amazing “cockzilla” penis enlarging spray is a worthy distraction from the main storyline, but, again, smart watchers will see the punch lines (such as Larry passing out when engorged due to massing blood loss to his entire body) coming and while you’ll cringe at the bits you should cringe at, you won’t necessarily laugh at everything thrown against the wall.
While its obvious the show needs more time to establish the characters and show us if it will turn into a “product of the week” device facilitating all the jokes, there is promise in this show and for those interested, give it a few weeks before removing that season pass.