Cable Boxing: “The Captain” and its “Melrose Place” ties

Mar 4, 2008 at 7:23 pm

Welcome to The Captain
Episode 5: “Mr. Big Meeting”

CBS, Mondays, 8:30 p.m., aired March 3. Starring Fran Kranz, Chris Klein, Jeffrey Tambor, JoAnna Garcia, Raquel Welch, Al Madrigal and Valerie Azlynn.

Synopsis: After Marty lands Josh a meeting with the president of Paramount, Uncle Saul insists on helping him with his pitch. Also, while Jesus is busy checking the building’s smoke detectors, Astrid stands in for him at the front desk.

Sara: OK, so let me get this straight. This show revolves around a legendary, high-end, L.A. apartment building where most of the residents are up-and-coming or has-been stars. “Melrose Place” it is not, unfortunately. But for a half-hour sitcom, it was pretty entertaining. Fran Kranz aptly leads the small cast. He’s like the “guy next door” who’s not really cool, but you don’t mind using him for his Guitar Hero, or making him watch “Dirty Dancing” on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Mat: Only in L.A. would a plot like this make sense, but it’s good to see Jeffrey Tambor still working. His role as crooked George Bluth Sr. on “Arrested Development” is one of the funniest characters ever. The “Box of Endings” gag is the kind of layered humor sitcoms need. Do writers reach into said box when they’re stuck? I don’t doubt it. How else could you explain “Independence Day” or “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines”?

Sara: Yes, Tambor’s role as Uncle Saul is great. I love how he continuously drops his “Three’s Company” ties. I also like the Josh/Hope relationship dynamic. He’s madly in love with her. She’s got a boyfriend. Will they ever transition from neighbors to lovers? Looking at the rate of success for sitcoms, probably not before this show gets scrapped.

Mat: Maybe, unlike FOX, CBS will let this show run for a minute. It’s got potential. Oh, they’ll hook up, but it won’t last. Could you see the way Hope ogled him when she asked if the couple in his screenplay wound up together in the end? She’s into him, and he knows it.

Sara: Typical guy response. There’s a fine line between being cordial to someone and wanting to jump their bones. Hope’s still trying to figure him out — he’s too nice to have a fling with and too dorky to leave her boyfriend for. A rock and a hard place.

Mat: Ladies never fall for the nice guy. It’s an arcane mentality that continues to mess with the natural order of the universe. Dorky is charming, but Hope just has to wake up and realize Josh is her ticket to romance. Or at least the Oscars.

Sara: Can we get back to “Melrose Place” for a second here? Tell me, who were your favorites? Billy/Alison? Jo/Jake? Ooohhh, what about Amanda/Peter/Kimberly? Not since “Golden Girls” had apartment living been so rousing.

Mat: Betty White doesn’t exactly turn me on, and as a general rule, threesomes are always better.

Drop us a line at [email protected] or check out our TV blog at