TBS’ newest 10-episode summer anthology series, The Guest Book, had me wary of ever wanting to check into Froggy Cottage. The Guest Book was written by Greg Garcia, of My Name Is Earl, and follows the guests of a rental cabin as well as the wacky inhabitants of the mountain town it resides in.
Guests come to Froggy Cottage to get away from their reality and while there, they unload their situations and stories into the cabin’s guest book. While the series brings in new guests each episode, the mountain folk remain constant.
The cabin is run by Wilfred (Charlie Robinson), a seemingly lovable old man who wants to spice up his marriage. His curiosity leads him to the town’s very sad and rarely occupied strip club, Chubbies. There, you’ll find one of the main dancers Vivian (Carly Jibson) and her stepson (Lou Wilson), who blackmails men after Vivian takes them to the broom closet turned “VIP Room.” Vivian records her customers and later blackmails them with the tapes. We also meet Dr. Brown (Garret Dillahunt), the newly single father who lives next door to Froggy Cottage.
The 30-minute comedy has a lot of promise and since it is an anthology, it gives the show room to explore different story arcs. For example, “Story One” focused on a couple in a sexless marriage and Froggy Cottage helped them rediscover their relationship, while “Story Two” deals with an older Christian couple who tries to turn their son’s atheist girlfriend towards the Lord.
It’ll be interesting to see if this comedy succeeds as some of the jokes fall flat or are just not there. There is a lot of room to grow as “Story One” seems to be almost absent of any jokes until closer to the end. “Story Two,” on the other hand, had a few laughable moments throughout as the Christian couple kept trying to pray their problems away.
The one thing that can be taken away from the premiere of The Guest Book is that if you stay at a rental property, don’t air out your dirty laundry because you never really know what will come of it.
The Guest Book was created by Gregory Thomas Garcia and stars Carly Jibson, Arjay Smith, Kimberly Hebert Gregory, Michaela Watkins, Lou Wilson, Charles Robinson, Garret Dillahunt, and Mary Lynn Rajskub. The comedy series airs on TBS on Thursdays at 10:30 pm ET.