A Look at Miss/Guided

After watching the premiere (or whatever ABC called it - sneak preview, I think) of Miss/Guided last night, I can definitely say that the show demonstrated a lot of promise...enough that I plan to watch the second episode tomorrow (Thursday) night.

The positives:

-I've always liked Judy Greer though in the past she has usually been relegated to the role of sidekick (13 Going on 30) or kook (Arrested Development, My Name is Earl). I think that given her chance to shine in the lead role that she can definitely live up to the challenge; she certainly has a lot of talent and charm...

-The show has got some funny writers. There were multiple laugh-out-loud funny lines in the pilot, including:

-"Vicky, Homecoming is spelled C-O-M" - Becky to a girl carrying an unseen homecoming sign that presumably contained a more racy spelling of the word

-"Really? He doesn't even play a sport!"- The Principal, played by the always hilarious Chris Parnell, questioning whether a student was actually "worth it"

I also liked a bunch of Tim's lines, which all centered around the fact that he was not qualified to be the Spanish teacher:

-"I'm only 1 Language Lab ahead of the kids!"

-"La biblioteca esta en la playa." (The library is in the beach) - attempting to flirt with Lisa, the hot English teacher, who actually did know Spanish

-"I have to study for a parent teacher conference; it's with actual Mexicans"

The show also definitely had its flaws:

-While Judy Greer does have a lot of charm, I think that she has to be careful with her character, which is kind of quirky bordering on crazy (this also has to do with the writers). A few times last night, I thought that the boundary was crossed, making things quickly no longer seem charming, but just really uncomfortable, immature and silly. For example, dancing in front of the student in the office and nearly murdering 10 people with her car to get a spot next to Tim were taking things too far.

-The confessionals to the camera were overdone. It hardly even made sense that all of the characters were doing them, since the show is not a mockumentary (i.e. The Office), and we are clearly being told the story from Becky's perspective. I think the whole thing is another example of an attempt at quirkiness gone awry.

-The show spent the better part of the first episode sending a message that was almost too bleak for a comedy: life is just an endless cycle of high school. As an adult, Becky is still painfully awkward, obsessing over guys that she cannot get (and competing with/being tormented by the same "hot girl" as 10 years earlier), lacking the self-confidence to ask a guy to a dance, getting driven around by her mother, mistakenly thinking a guy likes her (the student in her office) and the list goes on. I think again that the show has to be careful creating the proper balance of likable misfit and pathetic adult existence...

Like I said before, I do think the show had enough charm that I am willing to give it another chance (which is already saying a lot; I gave up on Friday's premiere of The Return of Jezebel James after less than 10 minutes).

Finally, Rachel's keen observation of the pilot: Half of the cast of North Shore (don't worry if you never saw it; it was a nighttime soap that aired for a summer on FOX a few years ago whose only redeeming quality was the attractiveness of its cast...though that kind of was enough for me) - including Brooke Burns (Lisa) and Kristoffer Polaha (Tim) - seem to have found new jobs 4 years later. Yay for them.


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