'Sean Saves the World' review: Can Sean Hayes save this cliched sitcom?

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Another TV veteran, another first name sitcom on NBC. "Sean Saves the World" premieres Thursday night (Oct. 3) on the same network that just premiered "The Michael J. Fox Show," and the latest half-hour comedy is rife with sitcom cliches. Can Sean Hayes save his own show from tired character tropes and story lines?

Yes. Yes he can. There's a reason why Hayes is so loved by the TV community. He has comedic talent, great timing, and a natural fluidity that makes even the broadest jokes work. His energy works well in the new show's tone, and he can make even the most slapstick physical pratfalls seem exciting, new, and most importantly, funny.

So what are the cliches Hayes balances out against all odds? Well, he plays Sean (first name sound familiar?), a Type A, 40-year-old, divorced, gay dad who all of a sudden finds himself with full custody of his 14-year-old daughter, Ellie (Samantha Isler) -- who is constantly embarrassed by her father, of course. Then there's Lorna, Sean's overbearing, frustrating-yet-loving mother (Linda Lavin) who is just always waltzing in to his apartment whenever she pleases. Sean also has a pushy best friend/coworker ("Smash's" Megan Hilty), and a demanding-yet-strange new boss Max (Thomas Lennon, with a serious case of the Nick-Offerman-moustache-disorder).

"Sean Saves the World" is a classic sitcom, yet avoids the tired sitcom tropes with a talented cast led by Hayes. If you can squeeze in another show on Thursday nights, and are looking for a light, easy laugh, set your DVR's now. 

"Sean Saves the World" premieres Thursday (Oct. 3) at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

Photo/Video credit: NBC
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