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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

PILOT REVIEW: Great News

GREAT NEWS











Starring: Briga Heelan, Andrea Martin, Adam Campbell, Nicole Richie, Horatio Sanz, and John Michael Higgins

Created by Tracey Wigfield
Written by Tracey Wigfield, Directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller

Great News is a late season entry by NBC from the people who brought us the acclaimed but niche 30 Rock. Taking place in a TV newsroom, it centers on a mother and daughter, Kate and Carol (Briga Heelan and Andrea Martin), who are pretty close until Carol starts working as an intern at the news station where Kate works. Meanwhile, Kate is trying to be more respected by her boss, Greg (Adam Campbell) and the news anchors Chuck and Portia (John Michael Higgins and Nicole Richie). Rounding out the main cast is control room guy Justin (Horatio Sanz).

I never watched much of 30 Rock, but this seems to have the same kind of feel at first glance. The pilot was smart by starting the episode showing a loving relationship between mother and daughter. It allowed for the inevitable conflict when Carol joins the newsroom a bit more enjoyable because they had already established that there is fundamentally a sweet relationship.

Briga Heelan and Andrea Martin have genuine chemistry as mother and daughter and they both give winning performances here. I enjoy seeing Martin in pretty much anything. Another strong performance was surprisingly turned in by Nicole Richie, who is far past her Simple Life days with Paris Hilton. She was well-cast and funny. I found John Michael Higgins to be a funny part, but I thought he was overdoing it a bit. He can be very funny, but he tends to push too hard and unfortunately, this part is ripe for overacting.

Still, I think the groundwork was laid for a funny show. There are strong characters, a good conflict that a lot of stories can be mined from, and a fun setting. All the pieces are there but now the show needs to put it all together, which is often the case with new sitcoms. It needs time to gel and I think it will get there.

WILL I WATCH IT AGAIN?
Yep. I'm already watching the second episode!

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