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"Still Standing" Review

By Shawn McKenzie 10/29/2002

In the last few years, CBS’s Monday night lineup has been their equivalent of NBC’s Thursday night “Must-See TV” lineup.  With the big hits shows “The King of Queens” and “Everybody Loves Raymond” anchoring the first two hours, Monday night has been a big hit night for the network.  The rest of the lineup varies.  The show that ends the first hour, “Yes, Dear,” is funny in my opinion (and I know I’m one of the only TV critics who feels that way) and “C.S.I.: Miami” is a worthy follow up to the show that it spun off from.  Then we come to the new show “Still Standing.”  It’s the one spot on the CBS Monday night lineup that is darkening an otherwise great night.

Still Standing” is a comedy about a blue-collar Chicago couple with three kids.  High school sweethearts Bill (Mark Addy) and Judy Miller (Jami Gertz) have been married 15 years.  Judy's unmarried sister, Linda (Jennifer Irwin), has constant run-ins with Bill, Their intelligent teenage oldest daughter, Lauren (Renee Olstead), thinks her parents are extremely lame.  Their tense, bookish son, Brian (Taylor Ball), is just discovering girls and doesn’t know how to talk to them.  Their youngest daughter, Tina (Soleil Borda), is just the innocent little kid who would rather just run around without any clothes on.  Bill likes to be the kids’ buddy rather than their dad, so his parenting style is a little different than Judy’s, who knows she is the mother, sometimes to Bill too.

To call this show stupid would be too much of a compliment.  The show it pushed out, “Becker,” was itself the weakest show of the night, but at least it was tolerable.  I can’t say that much for “Still Standing.”  This is one the worst attempts to try and portray a working-class family I have ever seen.

Let’s start with the biggest reason why this show is so bad.  The actors chosen for the characters in this show were horribly miscast, and therefore, their performances are very unbelievable.  Addy does a terrible job of trying to cover up his British accent with a fake Brooklyn accent.  When the casting director was originally considering Addy for this role, did they happen to stumble upon the awful job he did as Fred Flintstone in The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas?  Gertz is a good actress, but she cannot convincingly pull off blue-collar.

The writing is bad in this show too.  When Bill is giving his son Brian advice on how to talk to girls, he asks him if he wanted to be in the “wanna-touch-a-boobie club.”  That line actually sounded funnier coming from my friend who happen to get a chance to preview the scene before it aired then when I actually saw the scene.  I’d give you more examples, but I gave up on the show after the second episode.

Still Standing” is second only to “Family Affair” to earn the title “worst new show of the season.”  There is nothing redeeming about the show, and its biggest crime is that you now have to either suffer through it or find something else on until “C.S.I.: Miami” starts.


Ratings System:


Try to catch this show every week...

If a better show is on, tape this one...

If nothing else is on, maybe this will be good...

If this show is on, change the channel immediately!


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