Tag Archives: Best Friends Forever

Spring 2012 Review: Best Friends Forever

17 Apr

So I’m going to belatedly review a bunch of shows that if they’re still on the air, won’t be for very long, and which most of you will never watch.  If a show airs and no one watches it, was it ever on?  Still, somebody must do the thankless jobs; attention must be paid and all that.

The titular best friends are Jessica Black (played by Jessica St. Clair) and Lennon White (Lennon Parham).  Jessica is talking to Lennon via video chat as the show opens, Jessica in San Francisco, where she is awaiting the return of her husband, with whom she has apparently been having problems, and Lennon in New York.  When, instead of her husband, divorce papers show up, she’s so despondent that she hops on a plane to New York and visits Lennon, who attempts to comfort her as she slips back into her old pre-marriage New York routine (apparently they lived in what is now Lennon’s apartment together).  But, wait, there’s a problem!  Getting in the way of the best friend Steel Magnolia viewing sessions is Lennon’s new-ish live-in boyfriend, Joe, who feels like he’s getting the squeeze now that Jessica has come to stay.  He doesn’t like the way they want to spoil his chili Sundays, or move his blow up Michigan chair.  Jessica doesn’t trust Joe either; upon the hilarious miscommunication plot device of finding a ring and thinking Joe is going to propose, she innately suspects that Joe is not up to the caliber of man Lennon deserves, and makes it her mission to ensure Lennon won’t be marrying this guy she simply doesn’t know enough about.

Luckily for the BFFs, crisis is averted when it turns out that the ring is not an engagement ring at all, but rather a super-sweet memento of Lennon and Joe’s first date at Medieval times, which Joe bought to remember the occasion.  Jessica realizes Joe makes Lennon very happy, and that he’s a legit good guy, while Joe realizes that he needs to make room in his life for Jessica, since Jessica is so important to Lennon, and there’s a big hug at the end (I am absolutely not lying about the hug).

Oh, and in town is also a mutual friend of the crew’s named Rav, who Jessica seems to have maybe a romantic past with, which she seemingly ended.  Rebound, anyone?

Wacky side character alert (I’m tempted to add this to my reviews from now on as a regular feature):  The fifth main cast member is precoicious African-American 9-year old Queenetta, a neighbor who constantly hangs outside their building and apparently verbally spars with the two women.  In the pilot, she criticizes Jessica’s choices of dress, particularly her khaki pants.

It’s not a terrible sitcom.  We’re not in Whitney, or Last Man Standing, or 2 Broke Girls, or Are You There Chelsea territory, by any means.  It’s merely the more common brand of forgettable sitcom.  I hold no animus towards any of these characters, and they seem like perfectly nice people on the whole, but nor was there a whole lot to make me sad when this show inevitably dies off after five episodes of a terrible NBC time slot (trick question! All NBC time slots are terrible!).  It’s worthy of a big ol’ meh.

Will I watch it again?  I’m not going to.  If watching it again would help get Whitney or Are You There Chelsea get cancelled, I would watch it 18 more times, but as it is, there’s just miles and miles of sitcoms to go before I sleep, and mediocrity, while not terrible, but without a spark of promise that it will develop into something really good, isn’t worth spending time on.

Spring 2012 Preview and Predictions: CBS and NBC

3 Jan

(In order to meld the spirit of futile sports predictions with the high stakes world of the who-will-be-cancelled-first fall (now spring!) television season, I’ve set up a very simple system of predictions for how long new shows will last.  Each day, I’ll (I’m aware I switched between we and I) lay out a network’s new shows scheduled to debut in the fall (reality shows not included – I’m already going to fail miserably on scripted shows, I don’t need to tackle a whole other animal) with my prediction of which of three categories it will fall into.

These categories are:

1.  Renewal – show gets renewed

2.  13+ – the show gets thirteen or more episodes, but not renewed

3.  12- – the show is cancelled before 13

Spring note:  It’s a lot harder to analyze midseason shows as there’s no collective marketing campaigns going on at one time, as many of the shows start dates are spread (or are even unannounced for some)  Still, we’ll take partially educated guesses.  Also, they’re a lot less likely to get partial pick ups, so maybe that trade off will make it easier)

CBS, being the all-powerful leader in television ratings, as older people simply throw out their remotes, because it’s easier to just leave their TVs on the network, has decided that the only thing missing from their line up is a Rob Schneider sitcom.  Thus, because they have just one new show, we’ll be combining their preview with NBC’s.


Rob – 1/12

If not for the existence of Work It, this would have been a landmark moment for obviously terrible television.  Of course, it’s on CBS, so I’d be foolish to count it out so quickly.  Rob is about the comedic and charismatic Rob Schneider, who after years of bachelordom marries into a close knit Mexican-American family which happens to coincidentally conform to a number of Mexican-American stereotypes.  Cheech Marin plays his father-in-law.

Verdict: 12-  Please, please be right about this one.  I’m sure people will watch it because it’s on but at least being on CBS  means you have to beat other CBS shows to stay on, and I’m not convinced it can do that.  I’ve been wrong before about CBS though and I will be again.


Smash – 2/6

NBC’s putting so much stock into this show that they’ve tried to generate good karma by naming it aspirationally.  Postured as Glee for adults, Smash is about the production of a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe.  American Idol’s Katherine McPhee stars as a naïve Midwesterner come to take boradway by storm as the favorite for the lead.  TV veteran Debra Messing portrays one of the songwriters and Anjelica Huston plays the producer.

Verdict  Renewal – the midseason show I would be most surprised by a cancellation.  NBC is all in on Smash and postponement to midseason was a strategic decision rather than a lack of faith in the pilot.

Are You There Chelsea? – 1/11

Another title change, this time from Are You There Vodka, It’s Me Chelsea?, this show is based on the life of comedian Chelsea Handler, with the original title taken from her memoir, and changed because you can’t put vodka in the title of a network show for some reason.  Real edgy, NBC.  That 70’s Show’s Laura Prepon plays Chelsea Newman, based on Handler, while confusingly, Handler will play Chelsea’s older sister.

Verdict:  12-  It could easily get renewed, because who knows, but yeah, it’s looks terrible, and slightly smarter NBC audiences have not tolerated Whitney in the past and hopefully will extend that same feeling towards Are You There Chelsea?

The Firm – 1/8

Rather than a remake of the movie, The Firm is a continuation.  Set 10 years after the events in the film, The Firm explores what happens to Mr. and Mrs. McDeere after they come out of witness protection and start their own family and firm.  Josh Lucas plays Mitch McDeere and Molly Parker plays his wife Abby.  Much of the first season’s plot involves a battle to keep his firm independent against a takeover attempt by a shady firm.

Verdict:  12-  I don’t have a whole lot of faith in this relatively gimmicky remix.  Is The Firm that popular a product still in the public’s imagination even though the film was almost 20 years ago?

Bent – unscheduled

Amanda Peet stars as a recently divorced lawyer who hires a womanzing contractor to renovate her kitchen.  For some reason that contractor is the other main character, and I don’t know how they would keep the contractor if the show went beyond one season (they’re probably as confident as I am that it won’t.)  Jeffrey Tambor co-stars.

Verfict: 12-  I feel bad because I’ve always liked Amanda Peet.  It looks pretty dead in the water even if it ever makes TV.

Awake – unsecheduled

A far more interesting unscheduled show.     Awake stars Jason Issacs as a police detective involved in a car accident, who upon regaining consciousness, moves back and forth between two parallel lives – one in which his son dies, and his wife lives, and one in which the opposite happens.  The farther the two parallel lives more forward in time, the more they separate.  It sounds like it has the potential to be the best science fiction police procedural since Life on Mars.

Verdict:  12-  This seems so likely to share the same exact fate as fellow Kyle Killen show Lonestar.  Rave critical reviews, but nary a chance to get on its feet and become at all popular.

Best Friends Forever – unscheduled

One old friend moves in with another after the first friend divorces her husband.  This is mildly problemtic though, as the second friend’s boyfriend has just moved in and taken over the first friend’s old room.  Hilarity ensues.

Verdict:  12- A fairly low premise sitcom, it’s pretty difficult just to tell from the premise how it will be.  That said, I’m going to err on the side of cancelled – it is midseason after all.