TBS strikes with The Guest Book

By Paula Hendrickson

If you’ve just booked a cabin in the woods for an end-of-summer getaway, you might want to skip TBS’ new scripted comedy, The Guest Book.  But everyone else should give it a chance. Especially if they like to laugh.

The concept for the show came from series creator and writer Greg Garcia (My Name is Earl), who admits to having spun a few fictitious yarns to leave in the guest books of cabins he’s rented over the years.  Each episode will focus on different people with their own specific reasons for renting Froggy Cottage in the outskirts of a small mountain village called Mount Trace.

Whatever the guests’ reasons are for renting Froggy Cabin, it’s a pretty safe bet that things won’t go exactly as planned.

The show is billed as an anthology series because the main characters change with each episode, but the location and locals remain the same, so it’s more like of a hybrid of sorts.

While the show boasts an eclectic roster of guests—Danny Pudi (Community), Margo Martindale (The Americans), Jenna Fischer (The Office), David Zayas (Gotham), Mary Lynn Rajskub (24), Stockard Channing (The West Wing), Tommy Dewey (The Mindy Project), Stephanie Weir (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), and Michael Rappaport (Justified) to name a few—its regular and recurring cast is impressive too.

The Guest Book is anchored by Charlie Robinson (Night Court) as Wilfred, the manager of several rental cabins in the Mount Trace area. Kellie Martin (Army Wives) plays a local police officer, and Carly Jibson (from Hairspray on Broadway) plays the colorful owner of a local bar.  Garrett Dillahunt (Raising Hope) has a recurring role as a doctor, and Eddie Steeples (My Name is Earl) will make a few appearances as well.

The concept alone is fertile ground, but watching this show you might think twice before believing what other people write in guest books at your next Airbnb or rental cabin. Even if Garcia didn’t write an imaginary entry, his show may have inspired someone else to do the same.

The Guest Book joins TBS’s growing—and varied—slate of original scripted comedy series including Angie Tribeca, People of Earth, Search Party, Wrecked, and The Detour. No wonder TBS’s tagline is “Very Funny.”

Programming note

The Guest Book premieres on TBS Thursday, 9 p.m. with back-to-back episodes. R.

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