Sunday, March 23, 2008

Three Very Different Comedies

I actually got to watch some fresh, new sitcoms this week. I wish I could say all three were insanely funny, but that distinction is reserved for just one, Miss Guided.

Judy Greer stars as Becky Freely, a once mousy student who returns to her old high school to be a guidance counselor. She has settled in and even has a good friend/potential love interest in Tim O'Malley, the shop teacher who's been forced to teach Spanish, which he doesn't speak, creating a few funny subplots. Then, the former head cheerleader, Lisa Germain (played by Brooke Burns, most famous to me for things like dating Bruce Willis, having a baby with Julian McMahon and breaking her neck in a diving accident, but who also acts) returns as an English teacher and sudden rival for Tim's attention. This makes Becky, who's still a little ditsy and living with her mom, feel like she's back in high school all over again.

Chris Parnell, aka Dr. Leo Spaceman from 30 Rock, co-stars as the Vice Principal, Bruce, and he's spot-on; perfect in small doses. The cast is stellar across the board, and the show hit all the right notes in each of the three episodes that aired. I was interested in these people from the get-go and, although there are some silly set-ups, the situations as a whole are believable. Unfortunately, the ratings have not been very good and ABC is choosing to double-pump the show on Thursday nights, an obvious move to burn off what they bought. Well, you never know, right?

Week 2 of The Return of Jezebel James was slightly better, but still feeling super-contrived. I was happy to find out that Coco's real name is Caroline, though. Turns out she doesn't like needles, which is going to make pregnancy that much more fun. It just seems like ASP did not flesh there characters out as much as she should have. We have no real idea what drives them, besides the fact that Sarah seems to be a little OCD. I keep waiting for Parker Posey to ask Lauren Ambrose, "where is busy bee?!" I mean, when she's playing someone more high-strung than her Best In Show character? Oy vey.

Finally, we had the return of How I Met Your Mother, post-strike. This episode had a St. Patrick theme, but I have a feeling that it was written before the strike and adjusted accordingly. I didn't so much as chuckle at Marshall and Lily's crooked apartment and there just wasn't much new in Barney and Ted's adventure at the party. Definitely felt like a placeholder. Next we have the big Britney appearance, which is good for publicity, if nothing else. And, even when it's sub par, I do love HIMYM.

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