Are we ready for a chemo comedy?

Posted 11/13/17

By Kevin McDonough CBS swaps out one bad sitcom for another. It has placed the non-performing show "Me, Myself & I" on hiatus and has put "Man With a Plan" (8:30 p.m., TV-PG) back on the …

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Are we ready for a chemo comedy?


By Kevin McDonough

CBS swaps out one bad sitcom for another. It has placed the non-performing show "Me, Myself & I" on hiatus and has put "Man With a Plan" (8:30 p.m., TV-PG) back on the schedule. "Plan" stars Matt LeBlanc ("Friends") in the kind of jaw-droppingly unoriginal house-husband sitcom that his character would ridicule on his much better show, the just-finished "Episodes."

If the situations in some CBS sitcoms are overly familiar, Showtime's new BBC import comedy "Ill Behaviour" (10:30 p.m., Showtime, TV-MA) may be too innovative for some. Who's in the mood for a sitcom about cancer?

"Ill" isn't the first comedy to ask viewers to swallow some outrageous contrivances. Thirty-something Joel (Chris Geere, "You're the Worst") is first seen in his underwear on a building ledge throwing money into the street. Seems he's just been dumped by a shrewish hedge fund manager who buys him off with a 2-million-pound divorce settlement. There's nothing to suggest what a mega-rich go-getter would see in such a lazy guy, but it does establish Joel as independently wealthy.

His best friend, Charlie (Tom Riley, "Da Vinci's Demons"), puts him up for a few weeks and then sets him up on an internet date with American doctor Nadia (Lizzy Caplan, "Masters of Sex"), a cynical chain-smoker who happens to be a cancer specialist.

Not unlike Joel's windfall, this convenient coincidence comes in handy when we learn that Charlie has just received a cancer diagnosis, something he's decided to treat with holistic fruit drinks and herbs rather than submit to chemotherapy.

Suddenly Joel the flake is the responsible party, trying to save his friend's life with the help of an embittered and reluctant Nadia and Tess (Jessica Regan), an underemployed mutual friend of Joel and Charlie's.

Written by Sam Bain ("Peep Show"), "Ill" is filled with absurd conversations and awkward silences. Strenuously unsentimental, it takes a stark look at how much we owe to each other. Think of the old line from the "Friends" theme, "I'll Be There for You," and add the specter of early death.

While clever and sporadically amusing, "Ill" seems closer to an improv sketch than a story you might follow at length. Then again, it's only six episodes long.

• Slightly overdue for Veterans Day, the documentary "War Dog: A Soldier's Best Friend" (8 p.m., HBO) explores the bond between soldiers and combat canines.

• The "POV" documentary "Almost Sunrise" (10 p.m., PBS, TV-MA, check local listings) follows two veterans who embark on a 2,700-mile walk to put their war experiences behind them.


• Playoffs begin on "The Voice" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).

• A reporter's wife has an undercover indiscretion on "Lucifer" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14).

• The Carolina Panthers host the Miami Dolphins in "Monday Night Football" (8:15 p.m., ESPN).

• Eclipse receives a call from an ex on "The Gifted" (9 p.m., Fox, TV-PG).

• Robbery at a Renaissance festival on "Scorpion" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).

• A drone crash necessitates a plan B on "The Brave" (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

• Shaun treats a kindred spirit on "The Good Doctor" (10 p.m., ABC).

• A city doctor returns to her hometown when her dad retires from his practice in the 2017 romance "The Christmas Cure" (10 p.m., Hallmark).


While vacationing in Europe, an American wife (Joan Bennett) watches her husband (Francis Lederer) fall under the spell of the Nazis in the 1940 drama "The Man I Married" (9:45 p.m., TCM). Because Germany was such a big market for films, Hollywood studios were under pressure to resist making movies critical of Hitler's regime.


A workplace accident invites a possible lawsuit on "Kevin Can Wait" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) * "Dancing With the Stars" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG) * Painful memories return on "Supergirl" (8 p.m., CW, TV-14) * Franco mentors on "Superior Donuts" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-PG) * Nora harbors misgivings on "Valor" (9 p.m., CW, TV-14) * Babying the nanny on "9JKL" (9:30 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).


Hari Kondabolu is booked on "The Daily Show With Trevor Noah" (11 p.m., Comedy Central) * Matt LeBlanc, Brittany Snow and Myq Kaplan appear on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS) * Joe Biden and Elton John are booked on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" (11:35 p.m., CBS) * Carey Mulligan, Beanie Feldstein and Michel'le Baptiste visit "Late Night With Seth Meyers" (12:35 a.m., NBC) * Jason Segel and Seth Rogen appear on "The Late Late Show With James Corden" (12:35 a.m., CBS).

© 2017 United Feature Syndicate