We-have-a-baby sitcom, NBC, Wednesday Nights
What’s it about? This is the pretty much the last of the pilot’s that have premiered so far that you can call unequivically good or especially promising for the future of television culture. Pretty much anything beyond this point is not going to make, probably shouldn’t make it, or is on CBS and will have millions of forty-year-olds watching it so it doesn’t matter what you think, youngin’!
In this show Will Arnett and Christina Applegate play brand new parents. That’s about all there is to that. Also in this show Applegate plays a producer on a kooky Oprah-parody show called “Ava,” which stars Maya Rudolph, who is pretty much a comedic genius about 90 percent of the time somehting comes out of her mouth. So which part of this show do think is the funny part?
Oh I’m sorry, you would be incorrect! It is not the easy-target parody featuring the comedy genius, but here’s a consolation prize… Literally, there is a consolation prize with this show: the Ava stuff (which also features Nick Cannon [yes, that Nick Cannon, from Nickelodeon]) seems completely out of place and Rudolph is playing her least funny archetype – the love-me-or-else diva – but this show is brilliant and subtle in spite of that, pretty much solely through the relatively quiet work of Applegate and Arnett as frustrated by loving new parents. This show is cute and unassuming and it shows that any overdone and familiar trope can be new again if the people putting it together make it work.
On the Holiday Special Scale: 6 out of 10. Why this low, relatively speaking? Because if the show sticks with what it’s good at, then we get another “Baby’s First Holiday” special, which will feel new but probably stands little chance of breaking out and becoming a holiday classic, unless the baby like dies mid-episode or something. (And I know I’m contradiciting everything I said above, but there’s only so much you can do with babies and holidays, right? Maybe I’m wrong.) And the the show pushes what it really wants to be good at, which is the Ava material, and does some sort of meta holiday special within a holiday special on the Ava show, there is only a ten percent chance I will not want to throw my remote at the television.
On the Stupid Advertisement Scale: 10 out of 10. So I’m not sure how much of a future this show has. What works will get old fast. Look how quickly “Raising Hope” had to refocus itself on stuff other the trials of being a new parent. What doesn’t work already doesn’t work and the show seems to think this is what I want to see judging by how much they’re giving Rudolph to do. None of that takes away from the pilot, which is sweet and funny and almost perfect in it’s own kind of unassuming way. Wtach that as a short film, your good. We’ll have to see whether future episodes can live up to it.