“The Millers” Falls Flat, Despite an All-Star Cast

Family comedies are of no shortage, and we’ve seen a rise of them this season with promising titles such as The Goldbergs and Mom. The families typically have their own unique quirks and situations which make the shows unique. The Millers follows suite pretty closely, detailing the lives of members of a dysfunctional family.


The premise of The Millers is that Nathan Miller, a local news reporter, is trying to live the single’s life after his recent divorce. His plans are strained when his dad suddenly decides to divorce his mom, sending the family structure into shambles. Now, Nathan’s mom, Carol, lives with Nathan while his dad, Tom, lives with his daughter Debbie and her family. It’s the kind of scenario that viewers would expect in a show such as this one.


In fact, the show overall is rather predictable. Its only redeeming quality may be the cast, which is excellent. Will Arnet, who plays Nathan, manages to make even stale writing funny and his parents are portrayed by Margo Martindale and Beau Bridges- both esteemed actors. JB Smoove plays Nathan’s best friend, Ray, and does a superb job as well. While the superstar cast is appealing, the plots have us wondering if this show will last.


In a recent episode, Nathan and his sister, Debbie, try to get their parents back together. Nathan attempts to re-spark precious family memories by having his parents ‘sort’ their sentimental belongings. This mostly backfires, though, and new tactics have to be developed. This results in the family visiting their favorite restaurant to indulge in “The Kitchen Sink”- a kitchen sink full of ice cream the family must finish before a time limit to get it for free. This too backfires…or does it? An ending scene alludes to the parents getting intimate, though they insist to each other it doesn’t change anything and the kids must not find out.


The episode did have some great moments, such as when Carol typed a polite, detailed letter in the Bing search box asking for assistance and said thanks for a quick answer. Nathan and his sister uncover  an old video tape of their original “Kitchen Sink” attempt, discovering that they remembered things to be a lot better than they actually were. Surely viewers can relate to this. As we get older, some of the bad memories turn good- and vice versa- as family dynamics change.


The humor can be a bit simplistic at times, such as when the parents take Nathan and Debbie out to tell them about the divorce off file cards they made of tips they got from the internet. Nathan and Debbie are adults, so this is intended to be humorous, but it kind of just falls flat. It’s the kind of thing we see on television all the time, and the divorce theme is nothing new. It just falls a little short of expectations, resulting in disappointment. There’s just nothing really special about the show, aside from its cast.


It’s a toss up concerning this series. The great cast gives it potential, but some stronger writing and more unique plots would be nice. The rest of the season will have to determine what happens to The Millers. Sign up for Dish Network Satellite TV to see this and other fabulous television programming. You will be impressed with their service.
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