We gave it a B+
Watching The Building, you immediately notice that its rhythm is different from any other situation comedy around. The show’s characters chatter like magpies, barely pausing after delivering a punch line; they interrupt and finish one another’s sentences — it’s the sitcom version of what director Robert Altman does in movies. And no one talks and interrupts more skillfully than the show’s star and chief writer, Bonnie Hunt. Hunt’s talents were wasted playing Randy Quaid’s sister in the sitcom Davis Rules, but in The Building she breaks loose as a wonderfully gabby, insecure, intelligent actress named Bonnie Kennedy.
In the premiere, Bonnie has moved in-to a dingy Chicago apartment house after a bad romance; the episode has very little plot, just terrific, snappy dialogue between Bonnie, her friend Holly (Holly Wortell), and her neighbors. The show’s executive producers are Hunt and the new Mr. CBS himself, David Letterman, a chum of Hunt’s; if the rest of this summer tryout’s episodes are as fast and funny as this one, they’ve got a winner. B+