Lionsgate // 2005 // 484 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // October 12th, 2011
Comedy begins at home.
This is a terrible show. There's no way around it. Apologies to devotees of Jim Belushi, but that's the objective truth. The comedy is broad and cheap, the laugh-track is tripped out on PCP and the characters are more annoying than engaging. It's a miracle, really, that According to Jim made it this far, to a fifth season, much less an eighth season. But there was an audience apparently and who am I to siphon that joy from such a hapless demographic?
I wonder if that demographic got to feeling jilted toward the end though? Because if there's one saving grace about Jim it's the family-friendly nature of it. A long-endangered species, the TGIF-flavored park-your-kids-in-front-of-the-TV three camera sitcom has failed to resurface, replaced by hourlong procedurals, singing competitions and comedies that skew towards adults. According to Jim sucks, but at least it was something sucky that you can watch with your kids and they'll almost surely laugh at the fat guy getting covered in chocolate batter or Jim Belushi dancing around a gazebo like Fabio.
However, as Belushi himself outlines (refreshingly) in the accompanying making-of featurette, the show took the low road, largely shelved the kids storylines, and embraced more adult humor (read: sex jokes). Belushi laments this move in the interview, so much as confessing his disappointment in himself for piping in lewd humor to a show that he had prized as being all-ages appropriate. As a result, we have an awful show now stripped of its lone redeeming quality.
The fifth season continues the mangled blueprint, as Jim is still loud and bombastic and not very funny, and Cheryl (Courtney Thorne-Smith) is boring and not very funny and the fat brother-in-law is fat and not very funny and the sister-in-law (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) is smarmy and good-looking and not very funny. Plots include Jim's reluctance to embrace his eldest daughter's maturation, Jim's presence in his sister-in-law's erotic dreams, Jim's fall-back to his drunken St. Patty's alter-ego, Jim's feeble attempt at a Cyrano de Bergerac impersonation and Jim getting embarrassed by his wife in a marathon.
Here's how little interest this show inspires in people: the Lionsgate marketing team couldn't come up with anything new to put on their disc case synopsis and used the same verbiage from the Season Four release.
The DVDs: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 Dolby Surround, a Season Five featurette with Belushi, and a look at the set design.
According to me, this show blows.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
* English (CC)
Running Time: 484 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated