After his ex-wife takes him for everything he’s got in the divorce and his terrible show ‘Blind Cop’ is cancelled, Josh Roberts is forced to move back into the apartment building he grew up in, sandwiched between his parents on one side and his brother and his family on the other.
While not an original premise, 9JKL, based on creator and star Mark Feuerstein’s life, taps into comedy gold with the use of overbearing meddlesome parents. His mother Judy is a master of the guilt-trip, while his father Harry has a strong aversion to pants and a hilariously abnormal love of “gorgeous” honeydew melon.
As he attempts to rebuild his life, all Josh wants is some time alone to figure things out. Unbeknownst to him, his mother has paid the doorman to notify her when her son is on his way up in the elevator, giving her the opportunity to greet him in the hallway, door open and ready for a visit. This leads to a hilarious sequence of Josh trying to duck, crawl, and sprint his way past her apartment without detection and to no avail.
After Josh’s first date since the divorce is cut short thanks to his family, he is determined to set boundaries. An impossible feat seeing as how his apartment is home to their ‘Costco closet’ and everyone has a key.
Linda Lavin and Elliot Gould play his loving, sometimes smothering parents with effortless, excellent comedic timing and David Walton is perfectly cast as his successful surgeon brother who takes pride in his ability to say no to his parents, while also competing with his brother for their meddlesome love.
While the timing is solid, the jokes don’t always land despite their creativity in punch line and execution. Some fell flat due to overuse, while others simply felt forced. Despite the series’ shortcomings, the cast keeps the viewer engaged and what 9JKL lacks in originality, it more than makes up for with energy and relatability.
Get in on the meddling Monday nights at 8:30pm on CBS.
Written by JessG on Oct 6, 2017