“Ground Floor” Pilot Review

Maia Zewert

TBS is slowly but surely making a name for itself in the original comedy department. When “My Boys” ended its run in 2010, the network struggled trying to find a new program to fit in with the syndicated repeats of “Friends,” “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “The King of Queens.” Now, in addition to “Men at Work,” “Sullivan & Son” and “Conan,” (not to mention “Cougar Town,” which migrated over from ABC) TBS now offers “Ground Floor,” a workplace comedy.

Staring Skylar Astin of “Pitch Perfect” fame, “Ground Floor” follows Brody (Astin) a young businessman on the rise at Whitestone Trust, run by Remington Mansfield (John C. McGinley). McGinley is essentially still playing Dr. Cox from his days on “Scrubs” (which, coincidentally, was created by Bill Lawrence, the co-creator of “Ground Floor.”)

Brody begins to question his life decisions after sleeping with Jenny (Briga Heelan, who was recently seen on “Cougar Town,” another Lawrence creation.) Jenny works on the ground floor of the building, where work seems to be a lot more light-hearted than what Brody is used to.

One of the things that made Lawrence’s “Scrubs” great was the little nuances each character had with each other that allowed the audience to understand the relationships between the characters without having it spelled out for them. Currently, “Ground Floor” does not have that. In an effort to show the differences between Jenny’s life and Brody’s, the show relied a little bit too much on broad humor, however seeing as this is only the pilot episode, it is almost expected. If the show continues to rely on this as it gets further into production, there will begin to be issues. 

Individually, the cast is fantastic, with McGinley as the highlight. At the end of the episode, Astin does get to flex his “Pitch Perfect” singing chops by belting out a few lines of an Elton John song. (Alexis Knapp, one of Astin’s “Pitch Perfect” costars, plays one of Jenny’s co-workers while Anna Camp is booked to guest-star in an episode later on in the season. Now if only some of McGinley’s former “Scrubs” costars could pop up.)

For a pilot, it is enjoyable enough, but hopefully in the next few weeks, it will grow more into its own. With Lawrence at the wheel, I have no doubt it will.