REVIEW: ‘Me, Myself and I’ captures some of that ‘Wonder Years’ magic

The Art of Nerding Out

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Kevin Arnold was one of my first role models.

The protagonist of “The Wonder Years”, a show I grew up watching and still love to this day, was a kid not unlike myself. Sometimes he was cool. Other times, painfully awkward. But mostly, he was just trying to navigate the stream of life without getting washed away by the current. Kevin’s travails made me hope that I could best my own struggles and successfully woo my own Winnie Cooper.

I felt that familiar hopeful, inspired feeling watching the new show “Me, Myself and I”. This series follows Alex, a nerdy kid who grows up to be an inventor, as he navigates the rises and falls of life. The show drops in at three points in his life, in junior high school (played by Jack Dylan Grazer), at forty years old (Bobby Moynihan), and in his sixties (John Larroquette). The show is at times funny, touching and inspiring. And it’s always relatable.

Like “The Wonder Years”, “Me. Myself and I” revolves around Alex’s relationships with women. The show opens with current-day Alex walking in on his wife cheating on him. The revelation leaves him reeling, and living with his long-time best friend, Darryl (Jaleel White). This brings up memories of Nori, the girl he loved in junior high, and whom he crosses paths again at 65.

This relationship leavens the show with romance and nostalgia. In the premiere episode, Alex upchucks a mint into Nori’s mouth. Despite that, they remain friends, and Alex burns a candle for her his whole life. When they run into one another again, he is immediately smitten again, although she’s involved with someone else. This element provides the show with laughs and a need to see these two crazy kids end up together.

Courtesy CBS

There’s also Alex’s relationship with his daughter, Abby (Kelen Coleman), who grows up to be her father’s handler. It’s more like that of a manager and client, although young Abby and 40-year-old Alex enjoy a loving father/daughter relationship. And there’s the adversarial thing going on between Alex and Darryl’s wife, Wendy (Tia Mowry-Hardrict). The frustrate each other, but the obviously love each other, too.

To make all these relationships work and have weight, the actor have to be spot-on. And they are. Highlights are Grazer, who is outstanding as young Alex. White is also a blast as Darryl.And all the scenes featuring Larroquette and Sharon Lawrence (who play older Nori) are delightful.

Moynihan also shines, as a guy looking for inspiration and trying to find himself. It’s a relatable, likable character who you can’t help but cheer for. Moynihan is goofy, funny, and just arrogant enough to make you believe that he seems over his head. And the fact that he’s likable yet struggling makes you pull for him.

Kinda like Kevin Arnold on “The Wonder Years.”

Bottom line: “Me, Myself and I” is my favorite new show of the Fall 2017 TV season. It’s a perfect mix of funny, nostalgic, bittersweet and hopeful. It hits you right in that sweet spot where you long to laugh and cry with the characters you’re watching. If you give this show a chance, you may find yourself caught up in its magic. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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