Sisterhood of the Useless Degrees

Archive for September 2011

I’m going to date myself by saying this, but I grew up watching Joey “Joseph” Lawrence, starting with the Nell Carter sitcom, Gimme A Break, which once featured him in blackface as a mini Al Jolson. We’re only three years apart (He’s older). His brush with overt racism notwithstanding, I have always loved Joey Lawrence. Loved him through Blossom, his ill-advised foray into pop music performance, and his hair loss.

I’m equally devoted to Melissa Joan Hart, dating back to Clarissa Explains It All–and though I haven’t caught that show’s Nickelodeon revival, it’s oddly comforting to know that it’s back on TV.

So when ABC Family paired them in their original movie, My Fake Fiance, I sat through it, certain it would suck. It kind of did, in that predictable way all ABC Family, Lifetime, and Hallmark flicks suck: the awesome way. But the film was effective in conveying how well these two former child actors work together. So when ABC Family started running promos for a sitcom featuring the pair, I knew I’d give it a whirl. It’s been a long haul, but I’ve managed to slog through the entire first season (broken up by an eight-month hiatus), which ends tonight.

I’ve found myself chuckling at the show a few times, mostly when Joe deadpans a punchline. He’s surprisingly great at sarcasm. His skin/”hair” combo can be a bit distracting–as can Hart’s frequent references to his baldness (though he’s almost always wearing “hair”), but it’s a passable sitcom in a way that, say, According to Jim or Yes, Dear were not. It’s as formulaic as they come and super-old-school, in that it’s recorded in front of a live studio audience and follows a very predictable trajectory, but it’s comforting in that way.

Okay, so this isn’t a ringing endorsement. But hey, there a few shows these days that deserve one of those. Amirite?