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'Melissa & Joey' Recap - 'Pilot'


ABC Family gave us a total blast from the past tonight with the welcome return of Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence to our screens; for a minute, it felt like we were back in the '90s.


While 'Melissa & Joey' doesn't have the inherent charm of 'Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,' 'Clarissa Explains It All' or 'Blossom,' it does have nascent promise, thanks to the two leads, who still look fresh-faced and fairly adorable. The plot is easily reminiscent of 'Who's the Boss,' which seems to be a prerequisite reference in every review, but it's obvious that a show like this will hinge on the chemistry between the two stars, who are still trying to find their footing in the pilot.


The plot deals with Hart's neurotic politician character, Mel, trying to juggle her career while taking care of her precocious niece and nephew, who have been forced to stay with her after Mel's sister and brother-in-law end up in federal prison. Lawrence plays Joe, a former commodities broker who has lost everything due to the irresponsibility of said brother-in-law and sister, and is currently living out of his car.


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