Most of all, My Boys suffered from the voiceover disease that is running rampant throughout television today like some form of unchecked smallpox. It was particularly virulent in the cloying, cheesy way lead character P.J. (Jordana Spiro) force-fed baseball analogies to love and life every time she spoke offscreen. I don't know how any sentient human could not see how tired, unnecessary and undermining this was. Combined with the lip-service the show gave to her job as a Cubs beat writer - this woman appeared to work two hours a week and play poker 80 - you just had to hold your breath.
The show's quality and comedy were inconsistent - and for that matter, so was its tone. In one moment it was Friends, in the next it was Sex in the City, and then, in the middle of its short run, it offered its funniest moments with a Johnny Galecki guest turn that blended Kramer (Seinfeld) and Turtle (Entourage).
But the show did have its moments of genuine levity and cleverity, and one thing the show hung onto almost without fail was an endearing quality. These characters weren't cocky. They were sincere. They weren't brilliant. But they meant well.
And then, in the season finale (an odd thing to come up in a month's run, but that's what happens when you run episodes of a short-season order back-to-back on Tuesday nights), it all came together. It was a joyride. You could argue that it wasn't as good as the worst episode of The Office, but it really was a pleasure to watch.
I don't know that My Boys is completely aware of what worked and what didn't - I'll gladly send the producers money if they ditch the voiceover, for one thing, but something tells me that will be left on the table. Still, maybe this is a case of a show finding itself. It will be back for a second season, and I have to say, I'll be looking forward to it.