After only five episodes of Season 2, FOX has canceled "Breaking In." Even a revamp this season could not save the show. Why didn't it work?
Lack of Chemistry
In an attempt to revitalize the troubled series, new characters were brought this season. Megan Mullally, who was part of the ensemble cast for many years on the hit series "Will & Grace," to become the new boss of the security firm, Veronica "Ronnie" Mann. But her relationship with former boss Oz (Christian Slater) was not well defined. Perhaps it's because Slater's Oz was almost like a "Saturday Night Live" send-up of a Christian Slater character: perpetually smirking and making wisecracks. The end result was an effective wall between his character and anyone else, and even if that was intentional, it made for awkward staging.
The focus of Season 1 had been "new guy" Cameron Price (Bret Harrison). Along with help from prankster Calvin "Cash" Sparks (Alphonso McAuley), Cameron attempted to woo leggy brunette Melanie Garcia (Odette Annable). When that story arc ended with a clandestine kiss during a caper, it was just as quickly dropped as if it had never happened. Perhaps that is because the chemistry between Harrison and McAuley was almost nonexistent. In this season, when the story line called for Melanie to move away, her presence was hardly noticeable.
The best chemistry of the show was between Cash and new character Molly Hughes (Erin Richards), who came on as Ronnie's assistant. In the last episode aired, the two bonded after connecting in the virtual world. The blend of sweetness, genuine feeling, and silliness was something the rest of the episodes desperately needed.
The security firm's techniques of planning and executing "Mission: Impossible"-style break-ins in order to sell their services was never terribly plausible, although it was often entertaining. This season, though, the crew's shenanigans were sidelined because of new boss Ronnie's penny-pinching policies.
This meant that the focus became the tension between the original cast and Ronnie and her assistant, but this confined most of the action to the office, which had never been the strength of the show. If the goal was to create another office sitcom, the revamp failed. With such an unusual business, the usual sources of office humor (such as misunderstandings between colleagues) just didn't resonate.
In shows like the aforementioned episode, "Game of Jones," the dialogue was the best it had been in two seasons. But more often, especially in Season 2, the dialogue veered wildly between clever banter and attempts to "humanize" new boss Ronnie. The effect was that it was difficult to tell whether Ronnie was supposed to be sympathetic or viewed as the enemy.
The writing was similarly confusing when it came to other characters in the staff with the writers all but writing out Cam and focusing on Oz and Ronnie. The result was that viewers who started watching during the first season felt lost, and new viewers got little to draw them in.
Unfortunately, the revamp that was meant to save "Breaking In" only succeeded in breaking it.