TV Review: Fox’s ‘Mulaney’

Fox premieres comedy Mulaney—starring former Saturday Night Live writer John Mulaney as a rising stand up—on Sunday, Oct. 5, 9:30 p.m. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

“Of the three Mulaney episodes Fox made available beyond the pilot, each improves on the one that came before, an early sign of a show worth keeping an eye on.”
—Erik Adams,A.V. Club

“At one point the star, namesake and creator of Mulaney refers to himself as a ‘Seinfeld ripoff,’ which is not a good idea, even in jest. That’s because this uneven and uninspired Fox series exposes the difference between sharp observational comedy and funny sitcoms, and those that, well, aren’t.”
—Brian Lowry,Variety

“This highly constructed diorama of a show has a lot of superficial elements of classic TV comedy. (Fox may want to make its lower-screen graphics prominent during Mulaney, just so viewers are aware they’re not watching TV Land.) What it doesn’t have is an original voice, organic character relationships or near enough laughs.”
—James Poniewozik,TIME

“In practice, though, Mulaney (it debuts Sunday at 9:30 p.m.) is fairly dire. It's an unfortunate reminder that the multi-cam format is an unforgiving beast that can swallow you whole if you aren't constantly feeding it jokes — no matter how good or bad those jokes may be, and the jokes on Mulaney almost all fall into the latter category.”
—Alan Sepinwall,HitFix

“So the show seems either a subversive deconstruction of the laugh-track sitcom blueprint or a stupefying misfire built around the blandest star ever. That I can't decide signifies there might be something here.”
—Diane Werts,Newsday