Happiness is a Warm TV

Fall TV: Strong, funny cast makes ‘Life in Pieces’ work


New show: Life in Pieces

When: 8:30 p.m. Mondays on CBS

Cast: Dianne Wiest, James Brolin, Colin Hanks, Zoe Lister-Jones, Betsy Brandt, Dan Bakkedahl, Thomas Sadoski

Premise: Three siblings and their parents (Wiest and Brolin) experience milestone moments in this very funny single camera comedy that will feature one story from each family member in each episode. I know what you’re thinking, but the similarities to “Modern Family” pretty much end there.

Hanks (as the youngest son) and Lister-Jones steal the first episode as the overwhelmed first-time parents of a newborn (but be forewarned of a tiny bit of cringe-inducing humor – all birthing related). Bakkedahl (“Veep”), the oldest sibling, is also great as one-half of a couple of soon-to-be empty-nesters; Betsy Brandt (“Breaking Bad”) plays his wife, eager to have a new baby as they contemplate sending their oldest child off to college. Brolin’s story, about the angst of turning 70, goes on a bit too long, but it’s clear Wiest will be a hoot. This is one of my favorites so far.