Do Not Disturb

Airing on the illustrious FOX network, Do Not Disturb, at first blush, seems to get its name from the fact that it’s set in a hotel. But I discovered, too late, that it had been named by my TV Guide, warning me not to mess with this show because I wasn’t going to like what I saw.

With a chic New York City hotel as its backdrop, this half-hour sitcom centers a lot of its action in the bowels of a hotel, expelling awful things from its back-office mise-en-scène.

The plot of the premiere shifts into high gear when a staff member discovers a former coworker has written an anonymous article for a New York glossy about an affair this individual had with a superior, causing minor office tumult. As a result, the HR director, played by Niecy Nash of Reno 911! fame, calls a meeting about the dangers of interoffice romances.

In an attempt not to be predictable or clichéd, this show makes characters do the opposite of what you’d expect them to do, which is not only predictable but acts as its own cliché. The “voracious” culprit of the office sexcapades and subject of the article is not general manager Jerry O’Connell (following up on his success of impersonating Tom Cruise on YouTube and having Rebecca Romijin-Stamos-Katsopolis-O’Connell as his wife), who has a reputation of being the office man-whore. It’s also not Nash, who naughtily lets a colleague dip his pen into her company ink almost instantly after warning fellow employees not engage in similar acts. Neither is it the loose blonde front-desk supervisor/aspiring model, nor the red-headed gay guy. Turns out it was the fat chick, who is a working model and nuts in the sack. Oy.

Creator Abraham Higginbotham is a former writer for the bitterly missed Arrested Development, but brings none of that show’s wit, charm, or originality. Higginbotham’s presence may explain Jason Bateman acting as director of the premiere episode. Though it may be unfair to expect Arrested Development–caliber material, I don’t think it’s too much to hope for something better than Teen Wolf Too.


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