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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

PILOT REVIEW: One Big Happy

ONE BIG HAPPY













Starring: Elisha Cuthbert, Nick Zano, Kelly Brook, Rebecca Corry, Chris Williams, Brandon Smith

Created by Liz Feldman
Written by Liz Feldman, Directed by Scott Ellis

THE PREMISE: One Big Happy is a new multi-camera sitcom on NBC with a new twist on the family sitcom but a traditional approach. Uptight Lizzy (Elisha Cuthbert) is a lesbian who is trying to get pregnant and raise a baby with her straight best friend, the laid-back Luke (Nick Zano). This plan is thrown for a curve when Luke falls in love with and marries a free spirited British girl, Prudence (Kelly Brook). It's a little bit Will & Grace meets The Odd Couple meets Three's Company.

THE GOOD: The three leads are likable enough and the chemistry between Zano and Cuthbert improved as the episode went on. On the surface, this is a premise that has a lot of stories to tell and it's an interesting spin on a common type of sitcom.

THE BAD: The problem is it doesn't bring anything new to the table in terms of quality. It joins the long line of lame multi-camera sitcoms and that continues to make me sad. It seems like a show feels like "broad" means stupid and that's too bad because the well-written multi-camera sitcoms are few and far-between. There were way too many obvious jokes and punchlines in this one and everyone was trying too hard. I'm all for giving casts time to gel together, especially in this format, but if the writing isn't there, that's going to be a problem. I also found Kelly Brook's character pretty grating early on although she got a little better as the episode went on. The supporting cast was instantly forgettable and could have been plugged into any sitcom.

BOTTOM LINE: When this show inevitably fails, people will lament the fact another NBC sitcom can't find an audience. But the problem has been bad shows - from their Thursday newbies last year to this one, NBC has had horrible sitcoms in recent years. Only About a Boy was watchable. The problem is not the genre or the type of sitcom. They need to find better written sitcoms that can appeal to the masses. Mom on CBS is a good recent example. This is not.

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