Crossballs, the recently premiered half hour that spoofs exactly
what its title suggests unfortunately doesn't swipe at what's most ripe for
ridicule -- their pointless clinging to the fraying
labels of ''liberalism'' (now most often wishy-washy centrism) and
''conservatism'' (which has taken a radically hard-right turn).
Instead, ''Crossballs'' does something that's just unfunny and
confusing. It injects reality TV foolishness into its concept. A
comic actor such as Matt Besser, an otherwise adroit member of the
ferocious comedy troupe the Upright Citizens Brigade, coarsens his
usual approach, promoting, in one episode, the notion that ''a sober
teen is a dangerous teen'' because the kid will have his mischievous
wits about him. Better, this character contends, the teenager be
stoned and paranoid so he gets busted and is kept in line. Get it?
This and other characters Besser plays are pitted, the show
asserts, against unwitting civilians who think ''Crossballs'' is an
actual debate show. Mixing real people with comics, and having the
proceedings led by a fatuous host played by Chris Tallman (who's
appeared in funnier bits on ''Reno 911!''), results in few laughs.
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