Ken Tucker
April 14, 2011 AT 12:00 PM EDT

The Paul Reiser Show was such an unfunny, odd fit, nestled between Community and The Office on Thursday night, you had to wonder what NBC was thinking, or if it was thinking at all. The new show has the feeling of a payoff on some old contract addendum Reiser had written into his Mad About You agreement. “You mean a decade after Mad About You ends, we have to give you a half hour on Thursday nights to do whatever you want? Oh, maaaan… Well, okay…”

Reiser decided to play himself – former star of Mad About You; apparently now a rich guy who spends his days talking to friends about his wife, kids, and things that bother him. Those people are played by actors. It’s a measure of how bad this show is that it makes performers as good as Ben Shenkman and Andrew Daly only slightly less irritating than Reiser himself. Think the premise sounds like Curb Your Enthusiasm? Reiser thought it would be clever to address this head-on by having Larry David on as a guest. Turns out, not so clever. The big laugh line in the David scene was supposed to be when Larry said he thought Paul had asked him to lunch because “I thought you were gonna tell me that you were gay.” Ha-ha.

Guest star Mark Burnett, playing himself, plastered a plastic-looking smile on his face and said to Reiser, “Your misery is the funny part.” Fill in your own misery/funny sarcasm here.

As imperfect as it was, Perfect Couples was a lot better than this.

Agree? Disagree?

Twitter: @kentucker

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