Cavemen (2007– )
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This show will garner the same response. I liked how it kept to the dry humor and urban sophistication of the commercials; but I am sure some will find it slow and unfunny. That's too bad, as TV could use a few more comedies that aren't gag-dependent. I enjoyed how no one questions the existence of cavemen in modern times, and how the are the target of prejudice but for no real reason. Each caveman is a unique character and functions in modern society better than the "saps" (homo sapiens).
I will be sad if this show doesn't survive, I for one will watch it ever week and if the series maintains the entertainment level of the first show than I am really looking forward to it. However, I get the feeling this one won't survive, which will be a shame...
The real issue is that people were predisposed to already dislike the show. I was reminded of the simpler days of pro wrestling that featured little vignettes of someone coming to the company. Depending on whether he was a "good guy" (face) or "bad guy" (heel), you were ready to cheer or boo him before he made is first live appearance. At least...that's what they wanted you to do. Prior to the mid-late 90's of the WWF's Attitude Era, they heavily promoted a young man named Rocky Mavia as a Blue Chipper. You were suppose to just love this guy with his goofy ring attire and pineapple haircut and the exact opposite occurred. They shifted the hatred (a common chant was Die Rocky Die!) and he soon became one of the biggest superstars in the industry (as The Rock) and later movies (as Dwayne Johnson). I could see the same thing happening here. People wanted this show to fail.
The sad part is that I truly loved the dialog and the actors played well off each other. Nick was my personal favorite and his gimmick of the perpetually lazy, lofty, acerbic, witty, jocular cavemen with a chip on his shoulder never got old. Nick's 'better than you' attitude wall well rounded against Joel's pragmatic side and his brother Andy's wide eyed eagerness. The gang all lived together (off and on) in a world of Halo 3, yogurt bars, squash courts and Nintendo Wii. I could buy this odd universe because it seemed somehow more realistic than some hot chick with a fat husband or a family with a constantly bitchy wife and her Frankenstein sounding brother in law. Yet, the general population didn't buy the show and it was gone after six episodes. I've been lucky enough to find a few more via Youtube and hope to get to see the other 3 via download.
One of the questions the focus group moderator asked was if these were guys that were like ones I actually knew. "I wish." was my answer.
What I saw left me ambivalent at first, but ultimately satisfied. The great news is, it's just like the commercial. In this case, that's a very good thing. The hipness and sardonic humor are all still there. I'll go out on a limb and say that this is better writing than the normal sitcom audience can appreciate. The actors pulled off their lines as beautifully as the commercial's actors.
The show comes with problems that will initially hamper it. The first episode we saw was obviously not the pilot, so we got no introductory development. It's going to be hard to tell these guys apart, but we'll get used to them over time. The stress these characters radiate in their struggle to cope with homo sapiens culture make them hard to warm up to. Especially Nick, who has a real chip on his shoulder (though this allows him to have the shows most bitingly cynical lines). And dare I say that the dry humor is too subtle and sophisticated to allow the series to succeed? Will enough people appreciate it? I doubt it.
Then there's the question of whether this series is really a parable about racial tensions and stereotyping. Its creators went to lengths to deny it, but its scenario makes it almost inevitable. Frankly, I think I saw some of it in the first episode. I sensed that the writers were ambivalent about whether to go in this direction and take on the issue. Their uncertainty came through in the script. We'll have to wait and see what they decided to do.
This series looks like it will fulfill my hopes, though everyone else seems to wish it would just go away. I'm already anticipating buying it on DVD when it's cancelled. If you people don't want it, then I'll gladly take it. Future generations will know that I knew a good thing when I saw it.
For those unfamiliar with the premise of the show, the doomed-to-be-shortlived series Cavemen focuses on a number of Neanderthals and their struggle to exist in modern day America and is based on the characters featured in a series of television ads for Geico Insurance. The concept is solid and there is every reason to think it could be executed successfully.
I had to think about it for awhile, but then the tagline from the commercials -- something to the effect of "We're not that much different from you" provided me with the key to the show's suckiness. Even though cavemen/Neanderthals are actually a different species than humanity, the title characters of this show, it turns out, are exactly the same as those of us who are boring jerks.
Maybe its my background as a game writer -- rather than a soulless, hack, committee-based writer from California -- but this show had so much potential, and none of it has been realized. To start with, the producers should have focused on the fun things that would make cavemen different from us.
What could conceivably be funny, for example, about giving them occupations like perpetual grad student and furniture store clerk, when they would have more compellingly been drawn to things like subterranean utility workers and guides at cave parks? Why would they play prosaic games like squash, when a whole episode could be devoted to them trying get hunting licenses to go after game with spears? A show like this could write itself, and it takes some willfully bad writing to make it quite so crappy and boring.
Another tiresome aspect of this show is an attempt to portray the cavemen as being subjected to a number of stereotypes associated with various human minorities. Yawn! This has been done so many times before, and never more drearily than this. And, as noted previously, Neanderthals really are a different species, so using them as a metaphor for racial stereotyping is both uncompelling and off the mark.
Responses are welcome, including those from anyone who wants to tell me why I'm wrong. I'd like to enjoy this show and am just sorry that I have thus far been unable to.
Michael J. Varhola, Skirmisher Online Gaming Magazine
So, yeah, the first episode was nothing to write home about, but everyone should check out this series at least once. The plot of the pilot was actually a decent story.
Overall response, I'm still neutral on it. The show can still prove bad and it can still prove good.
22 minutes of cavemen with horrible makeup, tackling tough social issues... Sounds like an entertaining night. I also love how bad the recent ideas are that they're resorted to making a sitcom out of car insurance commercials. I wonder if they'll do the Gecko next, so that I can have a new title for the worst show I've ever seen. I would even say that this is worse than "Viva Laughlin." At least "Viva Laughlin" was ripped off from something that was somewhat inspired.
Shows like this make me hope that there's a comet up there somewhere aimed for Earth.
This show tries to hard to be funny, but it just isn't. Watching this show, I was thinking that it was trying to be like a "Bachelor's Gone Wild Show." Meaning they go to the bar and try to sleep with many women. The crying caveman is annoying. The caveman with the glasses is too smart to be a caveman(HAHAHA!!!). All three of them have personalities, but I can't figure out why I don't care about them.
To me this show is just pumping itself off the commercials, with no real humor. As we sat around watching these shows, we all speculated on what was going to happen.
The episode of the woman cave-woman with a attitude was actually a big, yea right, for us. she's crude in a theater and acts tough to strangers, and truth be told, she needed a slap
I consider myself a pretty good reviewer, taking in everything, but I must say, Cavemen is comparable to the old show, My mother, the car. I give it a 2, only because they deserve 1 better than a 1 because they actually spent money on it.
This show really encompasses the day to day life of the new adult Y generation, with a little bit of silliness added in.
I suggest this to all my friends, and each one has started to watch it religiously.
The characterization has come full circle, and continues to develop. Most shows now-a-days seem to write themselves into a corner, (NBC's the Office) by eliminating all conflict. With the addition of a foux-race war, this show allows us to laugh at ourselves while at the same time reflect on ourselves.
Big time props to the creators of Cavemen.
It may be because I saw the previous one that was so awful, but I actually saw improvement in the one we were served when the pilot finally aired on TV. I remember commenting that the acting was WAY above the script on the original pilot. I felt bad for the actors because it seemed beneath them (and I had no idea who they were). When I watched it on the air, it was clear that someone with an actual brain had been consulted on the script.
The show has an interesting take in almost a "Daily Show-esquire" manner regarding the judgments we make about those who are unlike ourselves. If you aren't able to see it in that light, you're bound to believe it is the biggest mistake a network ever let a programming director make.
Why, in the name of all that is good and holy, ABC chose to put something like "Cavemen" on the air instead of keeping something as well written and witty as "Sports Night" is beyond me. Perhaps they thought "Cavemen" would be more family friendly, but it turned out to be full of jokes only an adult would understand.
I will say the fake hair didn't bother me as much in this version as it did the pre-air version. Whether Make-up was trying harder to make it look natural or the better script kept me from picking at everything that was wrong with it, I don't know.
All I can tell you is "Cavemen" is more likely to be successful if it finds a cult following for it's sarcastic, self-deprecating humor. If you're looking for good TV, this is not the show to watch. If you're looking for something quirky to pass the time, then give it a view. The acting is OK, it's the script and the premise that still have a ways to go.
One of the show's directors, who was also responsible for the Geico commercials, was recently quoted as saying: "We were so excited when we were shooting our commercials because we felt like we had something that was very unique and we had bigger stories to tell." Wrong.
In the annals of bad TV, this is destined to take its place alongside 1972's "Me and the Chimp" as one of the all-time worst. The lead actor in the embarrassing Chimp fiasco actually went into shame-by-association hiding after it was abruptly canceled. No doubt our cavemen friends will follow suit.
Plot Premise: A group of cavemen who are modernized and live amongst us but feel racial prejudice or pressure from society. Although i doubt it is that deep nor witty enough to encapsulate the above theme. The best guess would be a statement on black and white relations in the United States in a non controversial medium - the cavemen?? 3 brothers or friends live together each with radically different personalities and interests. They try to venture out in modern society and comment on or experience disastrously the modern society as modern cavemen in which the comedic outcomes only reinforce societies' stereotypes. The main character tries to engage the homo-sapient (white?) world with a regular love interest but is chastised as an uncle tom with the same comedic outcome from his efforts.
Nothing good to say about it.
You should do a politic episode - you could include some conservative evangelical nut caveman! I was saddened to hear some of the critics panning the show. It is one of the most innovative ideas that Hollywood has had in a while.
Keep up the great work guys. Thank you.
Loved Nick's 'THE VIEW' interview.