This morning will surely bring disappointment to those excitedly awaiting the results of the bold pilot-season experiment represented by ABC's Cavemen, the network's attempt to synthesize the best elements of auto-insurance advertising and situational comedy into a groundbreaking, hybrid infotainment form: according to a review posted on Ain't It Cool, ABC's half-hour treatment fails to live up to the thrilling promise of Geico's inspired source material. An excerpt:
"Cavemen" has a lot of people talking since it was first announced. People will continue to talk... about just how astoundingly awful it is.
"Cavemen" is literally a thirty second commercial expanded to twenty-two minutes. But... it's actually much worse than that. Just like their source material, the origin of these domesticated Cro-Magnons is never explained. I guess "Encino Man" is part of the prequel trilogy. We meet these humanoids already fully integrated into society and living in a mid-west apartment with a bunch of Ikea furniture. Think about it, a show based on a commercial is bound to have a lot of product placement.
Now comes the most mind numbing, stupendously stupid and astoundingly misguided part of this fiasco: The creators have tried to infuse social satire by making the show an allegory for prejudice. They draw astoundingly leaden parallels to every minority group in the world without a laugh in sight. It's jaw dropping horrendous and actually makes "American Dad's" lunkheaded topicality seem sophisticated. [...]
This video will get passed around like the infamous "Star Wars Christmas Special." It's nice to know that the spirit of Ed Wood lives on.
Ironically, amidst the mad rush of script ABC developed this season was one of the funniest half hours I ever read... and they didn't order THAT script in favor of this depth charge which could be the first pilot to actually hurt an auto insurance company.
No network's development process is free of hand-wringing over unordered pilots once the underwhelming results of the ones they actually greenlighted are viewed, but with the upfronts so close, there's no point in obsessing over what could have been; at this late stage, the best an exhausted programming president can do is put on his happiest face, thank his team for all of their hard work, and then hope the delicious ice cream he's flown in at great expense helps raise the spirits of a demoralized staff.