‘The Great Indoors’ reviews: Joel McHale ‘makes a welcome comeback’ after ‘Community’

It has been a little more than a year since Joel McHale ended his improbable six-season run on the cult hit comedy series “Community” in 2015. I say “improbable” because that series, though beloved by fans and critics, was under constant threat of cancellation, switching its showrunners in the middle of its run and even switching from the NBC network to Yahoo! in its final year. Perhaps his new CBS comedy, “The Great Indoors,” will give him a smoother, less tumultuous ride for the next six years — or more. It premieres on Thursday, October 27.

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McHale plays Jack, an adventure reporter who experiences culture clash when he takes over the digital department of a magazine staffed by millennials. As of this writing it has a score of 52 on MetaCritic and 46% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes, indicating mixed reviews. So it may not be the beloved critics darling that “Community” was — at least, not yet — but many TV journos are nevertheless glad to have him back.

What do you think of “The Great Indoors”? Check out some of the reviews below, and discuss this series and more in our TV forum.

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Mark Perigard (Boston Herald): “Joel McHale (‘Community’) makes a welcome comeback in ‘The Great Indoors,’ a sitcom with a decided point of view — that millennials are spoiled twits and anyone over 30 is one slip ’n’ fall away from the old folks home … With its office-as-asylum atmosphere, ‘Great Indoors’ echoes ‘NewsRadio,’ not a bad influence.”

Neil Genzlinger (New York Times): “Several demographic groups could easily dislike ‘The Great Indoors,’ a new CBS comedy starring Joel McHale, but the guess from this corner is that the series, which begins Thursday night, will have broad appeal. A recognizable star, clear and not very complex characters, well-turned jokes delivered at a brisk pace: Plenty of sitcoms have succeeded with those ingredients.”

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Gail Pennington (St. Louis Post-Dispatch): “There’s a reason CBS is pairing ‘The Great Indoors’ with ‘The Big Bang Theory’ beginning tonight. ‘The Great Indoors,’ while far from great, is the freshest, wittiest new comedy on CBS this fall. There’s a loud laugh track (sorry, live studio audience), but ‘The Great Indoors’ is frequently funny on its own.”

Matt Webb Mitovich (TV Line): “As you might surmise, McHale is in familiar waters with ‘The Great Indoors,’ wielding sarcasm like a pro as Jack takes the wind out of the sails of his undeservedly self-entitled underlings … if ‘The Great Indoors’ can maintain a balance of smart, and not tired, barbs lobbed between ‘the human version of dial-up’ and the ‘stupid twentysomethings’ with whom he must now work, there surely is a show here.”

Predict the Golden Globe nominations now; change them till December 12

Be sure to make your Golden Globe predictions. How do you think “The Great Indoors” will do with Hollywood Foreign Press voters? Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how this series is faring in our Golden Globe odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before nominations are announced on December 12 at 5:00 am PT/8:00 am ET. Be sure to read our contest rules. And join in the fierce debate over the Globes taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.

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