TBS, whose slogan is "Very Funny," has built its house out of sitcoms — most of them reruns (currently including "Seinfeld," "The Office," "Friends," "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" and "The Big Bang Theory"), but with an increasing emphasis on the new. (It's also acquired "Cougar Town" from ABC.) It's like TV Land for viewers whose sense of nostalgia is rooted in the '80s, '90s and early '00s: a demographic that includes the characters in its new original series, "Men at Work."
"Men at Work," which premieres Thursday, was created by Breckin Meyer, who as an actor stars in TNT's legal buddy dramedy "Franklin & Bash," and as a writer was Emmy-nominated for Adult Swim's sparky, ironic animated-action-figure sketch comedy, "Robot Chicken." It's surprising, then, that his situation comedy, in which he does not appear, is so conventional — almost as if it were afraid to offend the sitcom gods.
A four-way bromance, it begins, as many series before it, with a breakup. (See: "New Girl,""Happy Endings,""Friends," and the Charlie Sheen and Ashton Kutcher editions of "Two and a Half Men.") Nice guy Milo, played by Danny Masterson ("That '70s Show"), is the abandoned party here; his crisis lets us see his friends as supportive and connected and unleashes the sex jokes that form the central pillars and flying buttresses of their cathedral.