I’ve discovered so many brilliant comedies over the past two years: The Good Place, Superstore, and Trial & Error quickly spring to mind. Champions isn’t nearly as creative (yet), but it’s still a very amusing sitcom.
The story of two brothers who own a Brooklyn gym and have their lives turned upside down when the former’s 15-year old son comes into the picture, Champions has a pretty traditional format. There’s nothing particularly unique here, but the cast is excellent across the board. First up is The Mindy Project‘s very own Anders Holm (and yes Mindy Kaling herself is one of the creators of the show). I always found Holm hilarious as a supporting character on Mindy, so it’s a treat to see him in the lead role of Vincent. His chemistry with his brother Matthew (perfectly played by Andy Favreau) is first rate, and their sibling dynamic is immediately believable. As Vince’s gay son, J.J. Totah delivers an impressive performance; he’s got most of the show’s witty barbs and he fires them off with confidence. The family dynamic between the three guys just feels very lived-in and realistic!
The shockingly cool thing here is that no one ever teases or bullies Michael for being gay. The show accepts his sexuality right off the bat, and that makes for a refreshing change of pace, especially in a sitcom. It would have been far too easy to make Vince and Matthew homophobic, but Michael’s orientation is never an issue. Bravo show!
My one complaint? I hope the show makes full use of its gym setting in the future. It’s a whacky environment that’s packed with possibilities.
With a charming cast and some genuine laughs, Champions is off to a promising start.