Factory Review, by Adam Buckman of New York Post

IN the opening scene of this new blue-collar comedy se ries, a careless factory worker's tie dangles too closely to a piece of machinery and he winds up being ground to death.

Hilarious? Let's leave it at this: I'll report, you decide.

The new show is called "Factory" and it's the first sitcom manufactured by and for the Spike channel, cable's only entertainment network aimed exclusively at immature males (basically all men).

In a package containing a preview DVD, Spike's press material describes "Factory" as "loosely scripted," but the p.r. department might have added "loosely acted" and "loosely filmed" too.

It's an "improv" comedy in which the actors get outlines of scenes instead of actual scripts and then are expected to create uproarious dialogue as they go along - a process that doesn't always work.

In "Factory," the actors appear to enjoy themselves so much that you can actually detect them snickering, which indicates that, when it comes to actually laughing at their improvisations, I guess you had to be there.

This style of situation comedy was first made fashionable by "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and then spread to a number of other shows, most notably "The Office" on NBC.

But "Factory" is no "Office." On "Factory," the principal characters - four pals who work as machinists in a small plant in Anytown USA - struggle crudely to enliven scenes that consist of little more than four guys sitting around (or standing around or walking around) and talking.

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