Four short, sex-obsessed vignettes every week – each of them horrifically wrong for prime time.
In a unique, experimental format, every half-hour episode of Life in Pieces is divided into four segments, with each segment about different members of the same family. Grandparents John and Joan struggle to cope with advancing age; Tim and Heather’s three kids are growing rapidly, causing the two to fear “empty nest syndrome”; Matt and Jen have just had their first child; and the youngest, Greg, is still dating.
While Life in Pieces’ format is clever and innovative, the program’s content is almost unbelievably scatological and slathered in sex, sex, sex. In the premiere, the first vignette “The First Date” concerned Greg’s frustrating attempts to have first-date sex with a woman (her ex is still living in her apartment, his parents are awake when he takes her home, and they are interrupted by police while trying to have sex in Greg’s car). “The Delivery” dealt in gruesomely explicit detail with the condition of Jen’s vagina post-delivery (“I looked in my box. Remember when the Predator took off his mask? We can’t ever have sex again!”), including her demand that Matt insert an ice-filled glove into her as she coos. “The College Tour” saw Tim and Heather taking their oldest son for a college visit: Tim describes his first attempt at coitus to his own son (“Y’know that space between two cushions on a couch? It didn’t occur to me ‘til I saw a ball of lint and a nickel stuck to my penis…By the way, don’t forget to wrap that that thing. The clap is back!”); another student leers at “hot mom” Heather; Tim and Heather’s youngest learns about Santa Claus, leading to totally unrealistic dialogue (“I need some time alone. You have some serious trust rebuilding to do right now”); Tim and Heather attempt to have sex in their hotel’s ice machine alcove; their middle daughter gets her period; and we get to see the son upchuck in the car on the way home. Finally, “The Funeral” shows John’s 70th birthday wish: a fake “funeral” so that he can hear what everyone will say about him after he’s gone. This segment ends with the elderly John trapped in a coffin, after he invites Joan to climb into it and have sex with him.
It says everything about the state of today’s entertainment industry that a show which, according to the CBS website, is allegedly about “savoring these little pieces of time that flash by but stay with you forever, because these moments add up to what life’s all about,” contains nothing but explicit, wall-to-wall sexual and excretory material. Are these really the only moments today’s TV writers think are worth remembering?
Life in Pieces premieres Monday, September 21st at 8:30 p.m. Eastern on CBS.