‘How We Roll,’ With Pete Holmes, Is a Bowling Comedy Without Bowling or Comedy: TV Review

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“HowWeRoll feels autopiloted, going through the motions of how a family sitcom should look — an especially strange thing for a series with a talented comic voice in the room,' writes DPD_

is a fairly cerebral comic, a presence whose jokes consistently feel carefully thought through. His recent HBO sitcom “Crashing,” which ended in 2019, took a subject that is easy to lampoon — a comedian’s quest for recognition and success — and took it seriously, treating it with real sensitivity.,” a new sitcom starring Holmes that’s lacking any semblance of his voice or his wit.

Those people include Katie Lowes, the “Scandal” standout, and Julie White, a Tony winner, who respectively play wife and mother to Holmes’ Tom. After Tom is laid off from his factory job, Lowes’ Jen encourages him to convert his hobby of bowling into a career. Much of Lowes’ work in the season’s early going is encouragement, with an occasional sideline in grumbling mini-arguments with White’s Helen, a curmudgeon and self-styled teller of hard truths.

And Tom’s bowling career feels insufficiently established, not least because we don’t actually see much bowling: Tom hangs out at the alley chatting with its owner , but there’s little sense of what it feels like for Tom to be as talented as he is, or what kind of practice has made him so competitive. This is what “How We Roll” is supposedly about, and yet bowling drifts away as a subject — it’s unclear what about it Tom even likes.

All of which is a disappointment for observers of Holmes’ career, and for those who believe a healthy TV ecosystem includes strong network comedies. “How We Roll” feels autopiloted, going through the motions of how a family sitcom should look — an especially strange thing for a series with a talented comic voice in the room. Nothing stands out as especially grievous, because nothing about it is daring at all.

 

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DPD_ The laugh track is distracting and it feels like everyone on the shows is walking through a bad play. Holmes is funnier than this.

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