Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pilot Review: The Return of Jezebel James

The Return of Jezebel James (FOX)
Premiered March 14 at 8pm

I have never been a huge fan of Parker Posey's, but then again I saw her mostly in her commercial films rather than the art-houses roles everyone raves about so much. I was surprised to find that I actually sort of like her in this part, but I am not ready to commit quite yet. This show would be infinitely better without the laugh track. I feel like it is well-intentioned, but it misses the mark quite a bit on most occasions. The first episode is no better than the first, which is neither a bad nor a good sign. Lauren Ambrose is terrific and it makes me a bit sad everytime I see her because she can never be as good as she was on "Six Feet Under". This show is entertaining enough, and were it not buried in the middle of Friday nights, I might be inspired to continue watching it, but we'll have to see when it comes whether I tune in or not. The title, by the way, is not very good. I can see why it might be clever, but it does not do it for me.

How will it work as a series? Sitcoms rarely work when they have some set event to get to, which in this case is the birth of the baby. If they decide to cut the laugh track by episode four, it could have a shot at greatness.
How long will it last? It got crushed in a huge way during its hourlong premiere, plus FOX and live-action comedies do not exactly get along. I think episode three will be the last airing, but I would have to hope they give it a bit more of a shot.

Pilot grade: C+

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