By Alynda Wheat
Updated June 09, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

Eric McCormack knows from funny — even if he did spend eight years as the ”straight man” on Will & Grace. So when executive-producing an Office-like faux-reality sitcom about a Beverly Hills dating service (based in Tarzana), and filling it with some of the best comedic talent out there, he should trust the creative team around him. But he doesn’t.

Lovespring International, ”the last dating service you’ll ever use,” is staffed with the kinds of misfits who are only funny in other people’s offices. Senior vice president Burke (Arrested Development‘s Sam Pancake) is a credit-hogging closet case; VP Lydia (Reno 911!‘s Wendi McLendon-Covey) has been in a ”committed relationship” with a married man for 20 years; dippy, dishy Tiffany (Jennifer Elise Cox, The Brady Bunch Movie) answers phones; and Best in Show‘s Jane Lynch stars as Lovespring International‘s motherly tyrant Victoria Ratchford.

So what’s McCormack doing in episode 2? Playing a client — a smart, sweet, hot, single guy. As funny as he is falling for Lydia, we’re left wondering why exactly he feels the show needs the help. It can’t be because of the cast, who gamely humiliate themselves for our wicked benefit. Can’t be the writers — he hired ’em. So it must be us — perhaps he’s worried that we’d only respond to his chewy special-guest-star goodness (a trick he no doubt learned while at the home of gratuitous stunt casting, Will & Grace). Or that we’d dismiss lines like ”He learned some things in prison that really make me happy” as fool’s gold. Relax, Eric — we know how to have a gay old time without you. Trust us.