UPN would like nothing more than to sell its new sitcom "All of Us" based on its tie to Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. And to sell it as the story of their lives. Sort of.
Which it is. Sort of. But the real-life movie-star couple, who are going out of their way to promote the sitcom they're executive producing, are also going out of their way to downplay the based-on-real-life aspect of the show, which is about a divorced guy with a young son who remarries — and how they all try to live happily ever after.
"No, the show is really just loosely based on our experiences," Smith said. "It's more about blended families. . . . It's very, very loosely based on our experiences."
"We wanted a sitcom that really reflected a piece of life that you don't see often on television and a piece of life that's very difficult to deal with and a piece of life that we wanted to show could be dealt with in a very mature manner," Pinkett Smith said.
Yeah, well, it's a nice goal. But based on tonight's premiere (7:30 p.m., Ch. 24), it's a goal that has yet to be achieved.
Duane Martin plays a TV personality — loosely based on Smith — whose first marriage failed and who is about to embark on marriage No. 2. So he'll have a new wife (Elise Neal) — loosely based on Pinkett Smith — as well as an ex-wife (Lisa Raye) — loosely based on Smith's first wife — as well as a young son (Khamani Griffin) — loosely based on Smith's oldest son.
So, what exactly are the similarities between real-life and sitcom-life?
"There's a man. There's a woman whom he's going to marry. And there's an ex-wife with a baby boy," Smith said. Pressed to be a bit more specific, he responded, "You just trying to be in my business, man. He just wants to be in our business, baby. He just wants to be in our business."
Not exactly. But you telling people it's based on real-life and then say, well, not really, is a bit odd. You'd think it would be odd for everyone involved.
"How does my ex-wife feel about it? She loves the show. She thinks it's wonderful. And she thinks everyone should watch it," Smith deadpanned.
And Wife No. 1 also sees it as "very loosely based" on real life. "And she just suggested that we keep it loose," Smith said.
It's not hard to understand why. In the pilot, the two women don't get along. And, for a show that's supposed to be funny, there's an undercurrent of bitterness that makes the whole thing more than a bit unpleasant.
"We weren't trying to do your regular sitcom where you have the big jokes," Pinkett Smith said.
"There are going to be very big, big jokes, though," Smith fairly shouted.
Well, not so far.
ROCK ME BABY (8 p.m., Ch. 24): I wish I could tell you just exactly how bad this show is. But I can't — this is a family newspaper, and most of the "jokes" (and I use that term loosely) are far too crude to reprint here.
Let's just say that the "humor" (and I use that term loosely) includes "jokes" about masturbation, urination, bestiality and oral sex. Just to name a few.
And, by the way, none of it is funny, either.
The premise is that a Howard Stern-esque radio shock-jock (Dan Cortese) and his wife (Bianca Kajlich) have recently become parents and how that impacts on their free-wheeling life.
Not much, it would seem.
To call "Rock Me Baby" bad would be understating it. This show is so bad it's hard to believe that even UPN accepted it.
And we all know how low the standards are at UPN.