Review: Lab Rats is an Experiment Gone Wrong

August 14, 2008 by  
Filed under Reviews

lab_rats_180.jpgI decided to check out the last in the series of this ‘comedy’ ( I use the term loosely) to see if it had improved since episode 1. It hasn’t.
And the thing is, this is a very frustrating show, because it SHOULD be good. The format is nice- it’s the IT crowd relocated to a lab- plenty of room for comedy there. Science is funny. Really it is- experiments gone wrong, crazy scientists – there’s loads of funny to be had out of that scenario. Institutions are funny and it takes place in a university- again, big comedy tick. Even the writing is potentially good- the gags are there (‘I never warmed to Hitler’ notes one character). So why doesn’t it work?

The delivery. All the way, it’s the delivery. The only two characters with even a jot of comic timing are the main character Alex and the PA (I guess) but they can’t compete with the clunky, puppet like performances of everyone else. I was watching Studio 60, the short lived but excellent drama starring Matthew Perry that revolved around the writing of a sketch comedy show. At one point one of the characters asks Matt why everyone laughed when she asked for the butter in the rehearsal but not in the show. What did I do wrong? She asks ‘You asked for the laugh’ says Matt. ‘What did I do different in the rehearsal?’ she wonders ‘you asked for the butter’ he responds. This is a show that asks for every laugh. It’s so weighted with self conciousness that any natural comedy in the scenes just dissipates and it’s a shame, because where it could be funny it ends up being just, well, not. A disappointing waste of the comedy budget.

By McGee Noble