Lionsgate // 2006 // 126 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // September 26th, 2007
I pity the viewer!
If you would have told me 20 years ago that it was possible to make a reality TV series that starred Mr. T that sucked, I would laughed in your face. Or perhaps alerted one of my parents of a strange person muttering something about the future. But so it is in this TV Land original series, where Mr. T runs around trying to change people's lives with his garbled anecdotes and pervasive growling and the net benefit to you, the hapless fool watching it all unfold, is: nil.
Look, it's a well-meaning show, completely inoffensive and free of bleeped out cuss words and Jacuzzi sex sessions and the life lessons are nice I suppose (but completely common sense), but the truth is I Pity the Fool commits the unforgivable reality TV sin of being incredibly boring. Yo, Mr. T, nothing personal, but I gleaned much more entertainment when you were leading those spry animated teenage gymnasts against the forces of evil back in the '80s than anything in this misfire of a series.
Here is how the shows play out: someone involved in some kind of dysfunctional scenario writes a letter to Mr. T, which he of course answers, then, clad in his righteous red warm-up track suit, he jogs to the target venue and proceeds to solve everyone's problems with such ground-breaking advice like "Communicate better" and "You need to respect one another." Gee, thanks Mr. T! I'm going to go conquer the world!
Season One consists of six episodes, with Mr. T heading out to address a different need in each one. Here's the breakdown:
* "Episode 1: Motivation"
A sucky car dealership calls upon Mr. T to come help and he gets into the car-selling business even though he has no idea what's going on, but I guess that's what's supposed to be funny. Look! Mr. T just climbed into a car trunk!
* "Episode 2: Trust"
A dance school being run by a wacko brings Mr. T in to make nice between the teacher and the students' parents. And if you think the whole climbing-into-the-trunk thing was hilarious wait until you see him dance!
* "Episode 3: Unity"
The Abato family in ruins thanks to Frank Abato, the fat dad who spends his days at a sewer treatment plant and his nights loafing around on an easy chair. Mr. T arrives to bring this family closer together.
* "Episode 4: Respect"
When a family farm is in need of stern parenting, Mr. T saddles up and rides to the rescue. But can he pull everyone together in time for the big horseback riding competition? Yes!
* "Episode 5: Leadership"
Metrostar Realty in Brooklyn is full of jackasses, but with Mr. T on board to share his expansive life lessons, you can be sure that every single tiny problem will be solved instantaneously!
* "Episode 6: Communication"
With a restaurant nosediving, Mr. T takes on the takes to change the culture of the workplace. And the people rejoiced.
Yeah, so, steer clear of this show. There's nothing funny or even gimmicky about it to require viewing. Mr. T is a fun guy and everything, but he just peaks in platitudes and his routine, frankly, grows tedious about halfway into the first episode. The only attempt at making him quirky is when he delivers a disjointed anecdote when he first meets everyone. Mildly amusing. The other big problem is the obvious pre-fabricated set-up to everything. Nothing seems "real," starting with goofy well-lit, handsomely edited letter writing in the beginning. Some of the lame attempts at acting and facial expression from the participants proves to be the second-most entertaining feature of this DVD set. The first? Easily, the puffy texture of Mr. T's Mohawk on the disc case.
The presentation is completely stripped, featuring a 1.77:1 non-anamorphic widescreen transfer and 2.0 stereo mix. And there are no extras.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 126 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated