"This sort of lunacy is notoriously tough to move to a starring role. For a classic sitcom like "What About Joan," the defining question becomes whether Joan can become enough of a Mary to hold down the act.
So far she's not. But Kyle Chandler is.
In the series, about Chicago high-school teacher Joan Gallagher (Cusack) and her intimate circle of friends, Chandler plays Joan's boyfriend, Jake.
And Jake is, well, Jake. Even setting aside our long affection for the sweet, intelligent and sexy Chandler ("Early Edition," "Homefront"), he's clearly the anchor that keeps "What About Joan" from floating off into the same everybody's-crazy territory as shows like "Just Shoot Me" or "3rd Rock From the Sun."
This presents a credibility problem with the show's premise. In tonight's pilot, Jake proposes to Joan. She's not ready. You can tell because her response is more appropriate to a backward 12-year-old than a thirtysomething career woman.
In fact, Cusack displays a repertoire of scary tics that resemble Tourette's syndrome without as much articulateness. Frankly, we think Jake should reconsider the proposition and find some nice, stable TV critic."