‘The Great In­doors’ seems a lit­tle claus­tro­pho­bic

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FEATURES - By Rob Low­man South­ern Cal­i­for­nia News Group

The old guy work­ing with young peo­ple is time-tested con­cept for come­dies. Usu­ally, they­oung ‘uns have new tricks for the old­ster to learn while he teaches them wis­dom and so forth. You get the pic­ture.

In the CBS sit­com “The Great In­doors,” Joel McHale plays a fa­mous ad­ven­ture re­porter named Jack who works for an out­doors magazine. Jack climbs, Jack hikes, Jack lives with bears. He’s the real thing. But like all print jour­nal­ism out­lets, his pub­li­ca­tion is fac­ing tough times. So he’s called in by his boss, Roland (Stephen Fry), and told he is be­ing put in charge of the dig­i­tal desk, a group of mil­len­ni­als.

Jack’s task is to teach them about the out­side world. Their ideas are more along the lines of, What’s the best piece of camp­ing gear to use to kill a zombie? (Tent stakes, ob­vi­ously.) Then Jack re­minds them zom­bies aren’t real.

It doesn’t take long be­fore one of them, Clark (Christo­pher Mintz-Plasse), gets of­fended by Jack, who gets sent off to be scolded by hu­man re­sources.

Brooke (Su­san­nah Field­ing), Roland’s daugh­ter, is runs day-to-day oper­a­tions and doles out tro­phies to her nerd herd like they were in

THE GREAT IN­DOORS

What: Joel McHale stars as an out­doors jour­nal­ist put in charge of the dig­i­tal depart­ment at his magazine.

When: Pre­mieres 8:30 p.m. Thurs­day.

Where: CBS. youth sports.

The twist in “The Great In­doors” is that the mil­len­ni­als have no clue about what they are writ­ing and post­ing about. These aren’t the typ­i­cal TV hot-shots — the young cop or fire­man, say — whose bud­ding abil­i­ties lead them to think they know best. Rather, the kids here don’t have any real-life skills: They just think they know bet­ter be­cause they un­der­stand so­cial me­dia.

McHale, the “Com­mu­nity” veteran, is en­joy­able. The jokes aren’t bad, and it’s fun hav­ing Fry as the out-of-touch ed­i­tor. Based on the first episode, though, the show is hit and miss. The premise is stretched every which way, but some­how “In­doors” seem a bit claus­tro­pho­bic.

PHOTO BY CLIFF LIPSON — CBS BROAD­CAST­ING INC.

“The Great In­doors” stars Joel McHale (sec­ond from right) in a com­edy about a renowned ad­ven­ture re­porter for an out­door magazine who must adapt to the times when he be­comes the desk-bound boss to a group of mil­len­ni­als (far left to right, Chris­tine Ko, Shaun Brown and Christo­pher Mintz-Plasse) in the magazine’s dig­i­tal depart­ment.

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