I really wanted to like TNT’s Trust Me, thinking that a lighter, modern take on the advertising business would be a nice counterpoint to Mad Men‘s meditation on mid-century America. With a cast mostly populated by actors I’ve liked before and the cushion of working for a cable network willing to give shows room to breathe and find their own way, Trust Me looked like a shoo-in on paper.
But no matter how many checkboxes get filled in, it’s the execution that matters.
So while Eric McCormack and Tom Cavanaugh are both charismatic leads, here they both played uninteresting and cartoonish variations of past performances. Cavanaugh demonstrated less depth over the course of these 13 episodes than he did guesting on Scrubs. ((Great, great work from him as JD’s big brother. If you’ve not seen it, I recommend keeping an eye out for his various appearances over the years.)) As for McCormack, remember the subtlety and wit he brought to Will Truman in the beginning of Will & Grace? This was the McCormack of latter W&G.
I don’t want to rehash my complaints from my preview of the season, though reading over them I see my opinion of the lead performances hasn’t changed. So what *else* is wrong with this show?
- Mason’s wife is a stay-at-home mom whose notable character traits were spending her husband’s money and whining about how little time he spent at home. TheWife and I both wanted her to STFU and get a job. I had to dig deep into my memory to think of a wife as shrewish as this in the *history* of television. The closest I could come up with was Wilma Flintstone. No job, spends too much money, makes poor Fred feel bad.
- Did you click through to my preview of the season? My opinion of Monica Potter hasn’t changed one iota. Weird, strange performance from a girl whose face looks to be sealed in plastic.
- And the most damning of all…not one of these people has the first clue about corporate politics. It was embarrassing to watch. In the finale, Tony Mink’s group manages to steal away Buick’s business from Cochran with a promise of impressive product placement and a solid campaign pitch. $75M shifted from one group to another, and a client happier than it had been in years. After this, Denise decides to finally complete her petty vendetta and fire Tony. Then she puts Cochran in charge of the group. Really? It should have taken all of ten minutes with the board of directors to convince them to fire Denise, give Tony her job, and keep Cochran away from Buick. Or, you know, Buick would walk.
McCormack has already signed on to a pilot for ABC. Good for him. Hopefully the multicamera comedy from Todd Quill will give him an opportunity to stretch beyond what Trust Me offered him.