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Review: Russell Peters highlights Spun Out’s return

Better late than never. Five months after Spun Out was supposed to debut on CTV immediately following the Super Bowl, Dave Foley’s Canadian sitcom returned to the air. There’s been a lot written about the reason for the delay—co-star J.P. Manoux’s arrest—and the resulting burn-off of the sophomore sitcom over the summer months that was announced just two days ago.

Manoux grabbed a lot of headlines, but changes occurred on the show too. The first season was filmed in front of a live audience, but this second go-round jettisoned that. With a new way of filming and high-profile guest star Russell Peters dropping by, how did Episode 1 of Season 2 of Spun Out fare?

Written by Fraser Young and Nick Beaton and directed by Dave Foley, Peters brought great energy to “My Brother’s Speaker,” playing Ray, Nelson’s (Al Mukadam) DJ brother.

It didn’t take long to discern there was no love lost between Ray and Beckett (Paul Campbell) thanks to an arm bar and a chirp about living in your parents’ basement (“Remember your parents basement from this morning because you just left there because you still live there?”). But rather than fall back on an easy back-and-forth, episode long feud between Ray and Beckett, it was Nelson who ended up angry with Ray after he’d arranged for a DJ showcase and Ray didn’t bother to show up. The reason? Not because Ray was a jerk, but because he had a day job he was ashamed of.

Holly Deveaux—who I really enjoyed in Season 1—was given a lot more to do as Abby on Tuesday night, fully involved in a storyline where she and Stephanie (Rebecca Dalton) thought they were being hustled at poker by Bryce (Manoux) and Gordon (Darcy Michael). Stephanie was a portrayed as a vacuous blonde in Season 1 and it looks like the writers have backed off on that a bit, which is a welcome change. (Michael continues to be a bright spot too; his out-there comments as Gordon always make me laugh, though I wonder what skills he has to stay employed at DLPR.)

My biggest pet peeve about this new season of Spun Out is going to be the canned laugh track. Rather than just letting the jokes stand on their own merit, punchlines are juiced in post, something I hate because it assumes the audience doesn’t know when to laugh. Spun Out certainly isn’t the first show to do this, but I don’t think it’s needed.

What did you guys think? Comment below or via @tv_eh.

Spun Out airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.