Big Shots: Four Mr. Bigs in the Big City

Recently, I heard a quote that kind of explained my problem with Sex in the City: “Everything women do is feminism.” In other words, if a woman does it and is proud of it, it must be empowering. Another way to put it is, if a guy does it, he’s being a male pig and we should castrate him – get him, girls!

This was the inherent problem with Big Shots when I first heard about the show from my good friend, actor Ryan Devlin. He had recently been cast by Rob Thomas, the creator of Veronica Mars, to star as a mysterious young man who gets a job at the make-up company owned by one of Big Shots’ stars, Dylan McDermott. However, as happy as I was for Ryan for booking the gig, I just couldn’t believe the show would ultimately survive the early season chopping block given its male-centric story: Four guys having lots of sex while moaning about middle-aged attempts at love in New York City. Sound familiar? An early season visit to the set wasn’t encouraging either, as many still seemed confused as to what the show would become.

Well, it’s been a little over a month now and, despite not great ratings, Big Shots is still on the air, Ryan made his debut last week, and, thanks to the infusion of Thomas to the production team, the show is getting funnier. Last night’s episode actually made me laugh aloud several times, including a great bit where McDermott’s Duncan Collinsworth, distraught over his ex-wife’s declaration that she doesn’t love him anymore, gets drunk and passes out in a running car in her garage, only to have the dumb act be mistaken as a love-stricken suicide attempt by the ex-wife in question who, as near as I can tell, is his Mrs. Big.

There are, as mentioned, three other swinging dicks in the cast, including Michael Vartan of Alias, comedian Christopher Titus of Titus playing it straight, and Joshua Malina of The West Wing and Sports Night. Vartan gets top billing, but McDermott enjoys the sacred “and” tag at the end of the credits; their stories, along with Malina’s – his character’s currently trying to get his mistress pregnant to give his ignorant wife the child she’s always wanted – make up the bulk of the episodes, while Titus’ seems to exist solely to drink and sound funny. I guess he’s their pet friend, the one that makes them all seem cooler.

Anyways, Ryan, as I mentioned, made his debut last week, while this week he got real screen time as build up to the revelation that he’s not just a charming social climber out to impress his boss. He’s out, instead, to impress his dad. Turns out McDermott doesn’t know he has this son, and now Ryan has entered his life to, as his character puts it, “follow in his father’s footsteps.” Maybe I can’t be objective, but it’s the best acting I’ve ever seen out of my friend; he was previously the host of MTV’s Entertainment Tonight and had a nice stint on Veronica Mars as a creepy rapist (which I missed), but I’ve never seen him really act until now.

Long story short: I was originally tuning in just to watch Ryan, but now I think I might actually be tuning in for Big Shots, too.