How to avoid ‘How to Be a Gentleman’

September 28, 2011

●How to Be a Gentleman (8:30 p.m., CBS) This sluggish, unfunny sitcom (based on an etiquette book of the same name) stars David Hornsby as men’s magazine columnist Andrew Carlson, a sort of mash-up between Alex P. Keaton and Niles Crane — and every other sitcom dandy through the ages. When his editor (Dave Foley) informs Andrew that the new owner wants to revamp the upscale magazine for younger guy readers (translation: bros), Andrew has to find something to write about besides collar tabs and proper stationery.

In a spooky case of life imitating art, Kevin Dillon shows up as the bully who used to pummel Andrew in high school (though they are clearly a decade apart in age) and is now Andrew’s surest path to American male zeitgeist. It’s as if we’re watching an “Entourage” episode where Dillon’s Johnny Drama gets cast in a stinker sitcom; you keep waiting for a meta-reveal that never comes. Instead, you get this year’s “$#!* My Dad Says.” Grade: F

Hank Stuever

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Hank Stuever has been The Post's TV critic since 2009. He joined the paper in 1999 as a writer for the Style section, where he has covered an array of popular (and unpopular) culture across the nation.
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