Sunday, April 7, 2013

Pilot Review: How to Live with Your Parents

How to Live with Your Parents
Premiered April 3 at 9:30pm

Her show was barely on the air during the time that TV with Abe has existed, and Sarah Chalke was hardly involved at that point anyway. I should point out, however, that I think that Chalke’s performance on “Scrubs” is one of the best recent comedic television turns that I’ve seen, and I’m always interested to see what she’s up to next. While her arc on “How I Met Your Mother” went well, her last regular series, “Mad Love,” did not. This show has potential, though it’s far from original. Casting three proven TV vets in roles that actually fit them does make it more worthwhile than I might have thought. Chalke has the right nervous energy to play the easily-flustered Polly, and I just hope that the show doesn’t try to put her in overly ridiculous situations all the time. Elizabeth Perkins was so superb on “Weeds,” and here she plays a less cruel, more impossibly inappropriate mother who should serve as the comedic backbone of the show. Brad Garrett always had a loud role on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” and it’s good to see him blend into the background in a funny supporting role here. I’m less secure about the involvement of Polly’s ex-husband and the prospects of her dating life given the letdown of what happened in this pilot. This hardly ranks as must-see television, and likely won’t last long as a mid-season replacement, but I’d say it’s worth a few more episodes to see if it finds its own voice.

How will it work as a series? Polly’s fate is pretty much set, and I think it’s just going to be a matter of time before the show has to get creative and take its events out of the house, allowing Elaine and Max to have plotlines of their own that don’t relate only to Polly and her daughter. I doubt this show will require week-to-week viewing to keep up, but it might be good for a laugh every now and then.
How long will it last? The ratings for the pilot were strong, which is good news, because they bested the recent performance of two shows that previously occupied its slot, “Suburgatory” and “Happy Endings.” The next few weeks will have to determine its fate, however, since the show might not have quite as successful an impact a few installments in.

Pilot grade: B-

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