Watching the new fall season of network TV, it’s easy to forget that none of these shows exists in a vacuum. You may love or hate an individual sitcom or show, but its placement on the primetime schedule has as much to do with the politics of what else is on the air — competing for half-hours of your attention on all of the channels — as it does with the quality of that particular 21-22 minutes of original programming.
So it was that Super Clyde, a charming piece of single-camera comedy written and created by Greg Garcia — and starring Rupert Grint and Stephen Fry — didn’t make it onto either the fall or midseason schedules this time around for CBS.
But in a rare move, CBS has made it available now. Online. At CBS.com: http://www.cbs.com/shows/super-clyde
The official description of Super Clyde, via CBS: “SUPER CLYDE is a comedy starring Rupert Grint about a shy comic book fanatic who discovers his calling after he inherits millions of dollars from his eccentric uncle. Clyde, a mild mannered fast food worker, is bequeathed $100,000 per month for the rest of his life and with the help of his butler, Randolph (Stephen Fry), Clyde begins his thrilling new life as a Super Hero, secretly helping strangers in need.”
It’s got a bit of the same heart of Garcia’s Raising Hope for FOX and the karmic blueprint of his NBC sitcom, My Name Is Earl.
But CBS.com would rather have you know that it’s from the same Emmy-winning guy (still also Garcia) who brought you The Millers, the sitcom pilot that CBS did order for this fall, and which began airing last week on Thursday nights.
Garcia, in an emailed statement last night, wrote of Super Clyde: “I’m really proud of this show. Mike Fresco did an amazing job directing and the cast is great. Rupert Grint, Stephen Fry, Tyler Labine and Justine Lupe. If you want to kill 20 minutes at work click on the link and check it out. Also, if you tweet and feel compelled to let other people know the pilot is out there, please do. Okay, that’s it. Please forgive me for the shameless self-promotion but a lot of people worked really hard on the pilot and I think it deserves to be seen.”
So. See it.
You’ll hear the former Ron Weasley (Grint) without a British accent, which, considering his voiceover doesn’t attach itself to his moving lips onscreen for the first four minutes, is something for your ears to behold. Tyler Labine, who could just as easily be labeled Tough Luck Tyler Labine for his starring or co-starring role in short-lived sitcoms each of the past few years, is aptly cast as Clyde’s older brother, who goes the opposite route in wildly spending his portion of the inheritance. Lupe plays Clyde’s older sister, who takes a third option. But the series focuses in on Clyde and his family’s butler, Randolph (Fry), and their decision to try to make things right in the universe.
There’s comic-book references and visuals aplenty.
There’s Dr. Giggles, the hand puppet.
There’s a motorcycle with a sidecar!
And there’s multiple montages set to “Pennies From Heaven” as sung by Louis Prima. Shoobie doobie!
After his first adventure, Clyde debriefs himself with Randolph by saying: “I rode on a bus. Then i rode on another bus. Then I rode on another bus. Then I outran three very aerobically fit women in their mid to late 40s. I was amazing!”
No, Clyde. You weren’t just amazing. You were super.
Please watch Super Clyde on CBS.com and know that in a better universe, shows like this have a spot in our schedules.