CBS Pilot 'Super Clyde' Isn't So Super, But Star Rupert Grint Makes it Worth the Watch
These days, Rupert Grint is busy promoting CBGB, his new NSFW movie about the famous New York City club, but just a few months ago, the Harry Potter veteran was on his way to becoming television's next big comedy star. Back in the spring, Grint filmed a pilot for CBS called Super Clyde , but the network decided to pass in favor of another series, The Millers, also created by Clyde's Greg Garcia (Raising Hope). Despite the rejection, Garcia and fellow producer Michael Fresco asked CBS to let Clyde's pilot air online, and surprisingly, the network agreed. As of Wednesday, the 22-minute sitcom is available watch on CBS' website.
So, we watched, and it's easy to see why Super Clyde didn't get picked up. Starring Grint as Clyde, a 20-something introvert, and Tyler Labine and Justine Lupe as his annoying, obnoxious siblings, the series is bland, cringe-y, and only occasionally funny.
The premise centers around the siblings' lives after they discover that their long-deceased, filthy rich uncle, who raised them after their parents' deaths, has left them $100,000 a month each. Clyde's brother and sister quickly spend it on ridiculous material items, but Clyde's guilt prevents him from doing the same. His butler (Stephen Fry) reveals that the uncle was actually a Good Samaritan who secretly bequeathed strangers with gifts, and Clyde gets inspired to do the same.
So he leaves wallets all over town in the hopes that they'll be returned by people who he can then reward. The plan, of course, goes awry, and shenanigans ensue. By the end of the episode, though, Clyde manages to secretly buy a car for a stranger, and when another person calls that they've found a wallet, the cycle is set to begin again.
There are many things wrong about Super Clyde: the incessant fat jokes, the stereotypically pervy older brother, and the creepiness that is Clyde dressing as a mailman, stealing a woman's private information, and buying a car in her name. With all these factors, plus a mediocre premise that doesn't seem like it could last more than a few episodes, it's no wonder that the series didn't get past its pilot.
Still, Super Clyde isn't terrible. Since Clyde is obsessed with comic books, the show makes frequent use of typography and imagery that allow for scenes to look straight out of an issue of Spider-Man. It's a fun visual, and added to otherwise dull moments. It also doesn't hurt that Clyde is played by Rupert Grint, who gives a sweet, endearing performance that's just similar enough to Ron Weasley to please Potter fans.
But thanks to Grint's convincing American accent and sad-sack personality, Clyde mostly manages to feel miles away from the actor's best-known character, and that's a good thing. Grint proves that Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson aren't the only ones capable of taking on non-Potter roles. He makes Clyde likable, and with a script as insipid as Super Clyde's, that's a pretty impressive feat.
It'd be great to see Grint appear in more roles like Clyde, as long as the material holds up to his talent. Awkward and cute, he'd make for a perfect "nerdy guy gets the pretty girl" romantic comedy lead. He has a face to root for and a charisma to admire, and it'd be nice to see him headline more projects. Super Clyde may have been far from great, but its missteps certainly weren't Grint's fault. Here's hoping he doesn't let the show's rejection stop him from pursuing more main roles, because we'd love nothing more than to see the guy behind Ron Weasley become a leading man.