Finally, the sun breaks through the clouds that have already gathered around Fox's new season with a show that is so achingly familiar - in content, tone, stars, everything - that it's actually funny. Or at least very comfortable, and "comfort food" is big at Fox these days.
What's so comfortable about "'Til Death" - besides Joely Fisher, who's almost always good and easily manages the feat again here - is Brad Garrett, who seems to reprise every role, character and voice he's ever done. Blink once and there's Robert Barone, and twice, Jackie Gleason (whom he played in a 2002 TV movie).
Eddie Stamm (Garrett), a burnout teacher, and wife, Joy (Fisher) are empty-nesters trapped in a drab, not-exactly-loveless marriage who are one day reminded just how dreary their lives are when newlywed neighbors - Jeff Woodcock (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and wife Steph (Kat Foster) - move in next door.
To Eddie's disgust, both are wholesome, energetic and completely, obnoxiously in love. Stamm is "just saving enough money to retire, while I still have a colon," but Woodcock - yup, imagine the endless jokes about that name - is the school's idealistic vice principal, appalled by his neighbor's cynicism about life, work and marriage. Says Stamm, "Men want to have fun, and wives want to walk that into the woods and shoot that fun dead ..."
-Excerpt from Verne Gay's "Newlyweds? There goes the neighborhood" on Newsday.com