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Trust Us With Your Life is the brand new improvisational talk show on ABC that premiered its first two episodes last night. Here's how it works: guests tell host Fred Willard anecdotes from their life, and then Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie, Jonathan Mangum and a guest comedian improvise the scene, often switching in and out of different genres. They do three or four sketches per 30-minute episode.
The first episode featured Olympic gold medalist, recent Wimbledon champion, and all-around only tennis player I know of, Serena Williams. She told stories about her sisters and revealed that she was a spoiled “princess” when she was younger. Wayne, Jonathan, Colin and guest comedian Greg Proops then took the role of the Williams sisters to recreate the stories she told.
The beginning of the show was adequately funny. Brady seemed to steal the show every time he opened his mouth to perform one of his legendary musical numbers. I wasn't laughing out loud until the “Sideways Scene,” where the performers are filmed from above while they act out a scene laying down. That was hilarious.
Jack and Kelly Osbourne were the guest duo for the second episode. They were definitely entertaining, but the games that were played weren't all that great. During one scene, Jack was given a bell and a horn to signify whether he liked the way the scene was going, but the constant bell-ringing and horn-honking was distracting and a bit obnoxious.
The highlight of the episode was once again “Sideways Scene,” where Jonathan played Jack driving an intoxicated Kelly (played by Colin) home from a bar. Another great game was called “Face the Music.” Guest performer David Armand came out to mime a song to the Osbourne siblings who wore sound-canceling headphones. They then had to guess what the song was based solely on his actions.
Overall, I wasn't thoroughly impressed. Being a Whose Line Is It Anyway junkie, I had very high expectations for this show. While I'm thrilled to see Wayne Brady and Colin Mochrie working together again, something just doesn't feel right. Where is Ryan Stiles? Ryan, Colin and Wayne were the all-stars of Whose Line Is It Anyway? Why would the makers of the same show try to fix something that was never broken? Come to think of it, why did Whose Line ever end? I need an answer to this one.
The idea for an improvisational talk show was a good one, but I feel like it could be a lot better. Fred Willard isn't a really fun host, I don't think enough games are played, the Colin-to-Ryan ratio is way off and Jonathan Mangum isn't going to cut it. Sorry, Jonathan.
Watch the first two episodes yourself and see if I'm just feeling bitter because Whose Line's younger brother doesn't compare to its cool funny older brother that everyone loves.