Little humor and no plot sink 'Retired at 35'

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TV Land hit a homerun with last summer's sitcom "Hot in Cleveland," which returns for a new season Wednesday at 10 p.m., where it will be joined by a new comedy that's not of the same caliber.

Part of the "Cleveland" success is no doubt due to the presence of Betty White. She was intended to just be a guest star in the pilot, but Ms. White became a series regular when her celebrity reached new heights. There's no good luck charm to protect "Retired at 35" (10:30 p.m. Wednesday), a comedy whose premiere episode plot is implausible even by low sitcom standards.

David (Johnathan McClain) visits his parents, Alan (George Segal, "Just Shoot Me") and Elaine (Jessica Walter, "Arrested Development"), at their new home in a Florida retirement community where the generation gap jokes fly fast and furious.

"Would you stop with all the texturizing," Alan complains when David sends a text message. Later he asks, "Are you on Facial Book?"

The show has a few humorous moments, and fans of Mr. Segal and Ms. Walter will be happy to see their talents showcased, but the jokes in the pilot, written by series creator Chris Case ("Reba," "Spin City"), are relatively one-note.

Alan and Elaine have been together for 37 years, and there's clearly some strain in their relationship. Alan compares watching porn online to basketball: "I like to watch people do things I used to do." Elaine jokes about "faking it."

Before long Elaine has left to paint buff, naked men in Portugal, and within days David and his buddy (Josh McDermitt) try to set David's father up on a date. Really? Just a few days after David's mom left he's already trying to find his father a new lover? Really?

Actually, Alan dating turns out to be the plot of the show's second episode, too, as Alan mangles the saying "hit it and quit it." Why not just title this series "Horny Seniors" and be done with it?


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