The new CBS sitcom “Me, Myself, & I“ premiered Tuesday night and failed to weave together its less-than-ordinary, complicated mashup of storylines.
The sitcom follows inventor and entrepreneur Alex Riley through three different stages in his life: 14-year-old Alex, who has just moved to a new city, 40-year-old Alex, who is struggling with his divorce and his business, and 65-year-old Alex, who is reconnecting with an old love after retiring from his successful career and suffering a heart attack.
“Me, Myself, & I” has a unique premise. There aren’t many network television shows that tackle two separate timelines in one show, much less three, as this show tries to. However, attempting something and succeeding are two very different things. “Me, Myself, & I” struggles to find an identity because the time shifts every few minutes.
Young Alex’s story involves him attempting to win the affections of Nori Sterling, the pretty girl in his new town. Impressing her with one of his inventions, Alex gets the opportunity to dance with her at the school dance. He screws up his opportunity, though, by accidentally choking on a mint and sending it flying into her mouth. This story is simple enough, as we now believe young Alex is going to spend the rest of the show struggling to adjust to life in his new town while also trying to win back Nori. However, the segments that focused on Alex felt immature, like something from Disney Channel, and hardly deserve to be on the same network as a hit show like “The Big Bang Theory.”
Adult Alex’s story is probably the strongest. His character arc is clear, and he is much more like the typical sitcom hero audiences expect. Alex’s best friend and CFO of Alex’s company, Todd, is supportive of Alex through his divorce and also spends the episode helping him brainstorm invention ideas. Alex’s divorce after finding his wife cheating on him, provides the perfect backdrop for his sense of urgency to get his feet back under him.
Older Alex’s story doesn’t get much development in this episode. He has a heart attack, announces his retirement upon recovery and goes to lunch with his daughter. That’s really all that happens in this episode for older Alex. The big reveal for Alex comes at the end of the episode, though. When Alex goes to pay for lunch, he finds his childhood flame, Nori, now owns the restaurant. He gives her an awkward embrace, leaves, then immediately returns and gives her a passionate kiss, which she reciprocates.
For a sitcom, “Me, Myself, & I” is seriously lacking when it comes to funny moments. At times, it feels like the show is labeled as a sitcom because it doesn’t fit any other category and the sitcom genre is being treated as a catch-all term. However, the interactions between adult Alex and his friend Todd are truly the funniest moments in show, where audiences will find themselves laughing at these two men struggling through adulthood yet still acting like college kids (i.e. getting high to come up with invention ideas). If adult Alex is where the true comedy is, older Alex’s story with Nori is where the true heart in this show lies. Overall, “Me, Myself, & I” suffers from trying to be three different shows at one time when two would have sufficed. However, if the show can improve young Alex’s story while maintaining the genuineness in the other two plots, “Me, Myself, & I” might just have a successful first season.