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Fall TV Preview: How to Be a Gentleman Does Very Bad Things to a Very Good Cast

HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN, Kevin Dillon, David Hornsby Greg Gayne/CBS
WWK Fall TV Preview 2011

With the Entourage series finale airing on Sunday (Sept. 11), we're sure many fans are already preparing themselves for major Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) withdrawals.

Guess what? You're in luck! Dillon wasted no time finding a new gig on the CBS new comedy How to Be a Gentleman and he's basically playing Johnny Drama 2.0, minus the lavish lifestyle and Viking Quest (What up, Tarvold?!) claim to fame.

So will How to Be a Gentleman become an Entourage-level hit for Dillon? Here's what you need to know:

MORE: Check Out the Five Fall Shows We Love

How to Be a Gentleman (CBS)
Premieres Thursday, Sept. 29, 8:30 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: Charlie's Angels (ABC),  The Vampire Diaries (CW), The X Factor (Fox), Parks & Recreation (NBC)
Cast:
David Hornsby, Kevin Dillon, Dave Foley, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Rhys Darby, Nancy Lenehan
Status: We've seen the pilot episode

How To Be a Gentleman, inspired by the book of the same name by John Bridges, is, ironically enough, all about learning how to be a man. The gentleman in need of some man training? Allan (creator and executive producer Hornsby), a self-proclaimed gentleman. You can tell he's a gentleman because he opens doors, puts out other people's cigarettes, buttons his blazer properly, carries around his ex-girlfriend's sock, etc.

After Allan's boss Jerry (The Kids in the Hall's Foley) tells him he needs to change his magazine column, "How to Be a Gentleman," into something more young and sexy, Allan decides to use a chance meeting with his former high school bully as inspiration. Enter Bert (Dillon), the show's resident man (with possibly the worst character name on television...Congrats!). He's a fan of dead arms, chugging milk and shirts with tigers on them. (Be still our hearts?) Bert now owns a gym and decides to help the stiff and uptight Allan discover his inner-man. A trip to the strip club and shots at 10 a.m. soon follow, natch.

OK, here's the thing. Hornsby and Dillon's characters are not all that likable. Bert is that overgrown frat boy minus the college (or high school) degree who waxes douchetasticly about believing in "yang and yang" rather than "yin and yang." (Which, by the way, what?) And Allan, well, he's just your typical sweater wearing dork who wouldn't know what fun is if it called him up on the phone, saying, "Hi, Allan! It's me, Fun. My name is Fun. FUN, FUN, FUN!" However, the two have great chemistry together and play off each other extremely well. Hands down, the best part of the pilot is their Odd Couple-esque friendship. It just works.

What doesn't work? Almost all of the supporting characters. Allan's sister Janet (Rajskub) is kind of obnoxious and her constant teasing of Allan doesn't  across as affectionate, it's just mean. (Can we ever forgive this show for messing with our Rajskub love affair?) Her British husband Mike (Flight of the Conchords fans will remember him as the best-worst TV agent ever, Darby), babbles about brass eyeballs, has a fear of his wife and falls victim to the oldest gag in the book: the escalator. Yes, they bust out the escalator gag in the pilot. Foley is wasted as Allan's boss who is so desperate to remain young and cool in order to compete with his new and younger boss. And the worst of all? The laugh track. Just say no, CBS. Say no.

However, there's one moment in the pilot that almost makes up for all of its shortcomings: Allan dishing out an epic bitch slap. It's all kinds of awesome.

Verdict: In another time-slot, we may have given How to Be a Gentleman a DVR rating, but with fierce competition (Oh, hello Parks & Rec, TVD and X Factor!) in the Thursday 8:30 p.m. time-slot/ death match, we're going to have to pass. Please—no dead arms! We didn't mean it!

MORE: Get Our Whole Fall TV Preview Right Here

WATCH: Kevin Dillon Reveals How to Be a Gentleman

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