This week while watching Sean Saves the World, I laughed. It pains me to say this, but I did. Now I don’t think that’s because “Nobody Puts Sean in a Corner” is actually funny (it’s not), but it’s because the show is so devoid of humor that when someone that is humorous does something remotely close to enjoyable, I find it makes the whole experience more bearable to let out a chuckle in relief that Sean Saves the World actually has heard of comedy before.
“Nobody Puts Sean in a Corner” reinforces my desire that Sean Saves the World be renamed Tom and Echo Saves the Horrible Sitcom. Sean’s mother wants the two of them to compete in a dancing competition—he immediately shoots her down. Frankly, it does seem a bit “Motherboy”-ish. But when her new partner Hunter is great—and Sean’s mom compliments him—Sean regrets not going with his mother and decides if you can’t join them, beat them.
There’s really only two different types of stories in Sean Saves the World. The first is Sean’s balance of family and his job. Mostly this involves wanting to spend time with his daughter, but he can’t due to the restraints put on him by his job and his boss, Max. But the other is him seeking his mother’s approval. Rarely is any story that strong on Sean Saves the World, but this one is the weakest by far.
First off, we’ve already had Sean’s mother Lorna praise her son and even had an entire episode where the conclusion was her stating that she was proud of her son. So the continuous back and forth between the two doesn’t really make any sense. But also they’re both just sort of horrible to each other. Lorna is in consistent criticizing mode, and as we see in this episode, Sean is always against spending time with his mother, no matter what. Frankly, as a viewer, I have no interest in seeing these two together.
Probably the best part of “Nobody Puts Sean in a Corner” is a sign of slight growth, as the show integrates the cast into the main stories much more seamlessly. Sean teams up with Liz to compete against Lorna and Hunter. When Liz gets injured minutes before the competition, Sean joins up with Max, who also just so happens to be an Army choreographer.
Everyone in the show seems to be blissfully unaware that they’re in a mediocre sitcom and decides to go along with it, except of course Tom Lennon and Echo Kellum, who continue to do everything they can to save the material. The only time Sean Hayes is even remotely funny is when he’s teamed up with Lennon, and Kellum’s delivery of lines elevates the bad jokes into at the very least amusing.
At the very least “Nobody Puts Sean in a Corner” improves the construction of the show slightly, but it doesn’t really matter if everything besides Lennon and Kellum’s parts are awful.