Jonathan Storm: The family way in a smarmy way
What a trouper. In her new show, charming clown Jenna Elfman from Dharma & Greg plays a San Francisco film critic who accidentally, or at least half accidentally, gets pregnant by a much younger man.
What a trouper.
In her new show, charming clown Jenna Elfman from Dharma & Greg plays a San Francisco film critic who accidentally, or at least half accidentally, gets pregnant by a much younger man.
Elfman did something special to get into character. No, she didn't hang with a real film critic to learn about the job. She got pregnant herself!
No big pillows necessary for verisimilitude in this one.
Sadly, Elfman's personal efforts go for naught, because there is no verisimilitude anyway in Accidentally on Purpose, premiering tonight at 8:30 on CBS3, and also because the show's likely to be canceled before Elfman's child is born.
Accidentally's supposedly based on somebody's memoir, but it's as smarmy and contrived as the worst of them. What makes it more aggravating: Just when it's ready to sink beneath the waves, Elfman's sunny efforts bring it barely back above water.
At the top, Elfman's character, Billie, 37, is ready to make a last effort to get her editor to marry her. Grant Show, who gets all kinds of work even though he hasn't been much fun since Melrose Place, plays editor James.
"You need to perk up your nipples," Billie's friend Olivia advises. This, just after Olivia declares in the show's first line: "I can't do another office party. I've already slept with everyone here."
This sort of "sexy" sitcom desperation was tired 20 years ago, and it's hard to imagine any actress going for it. But Ashley Jensen, who plays Olivia, is from Scotland, and has a darling accent, and maybe she doesn't know much about American sitcom history.
Turns out Jensen's pregnant, too, so she'll be carrying a lot of trays and briefcases.
Billie's good-girl sister, Abby (Meg Parham), tries to be supportive, but doesn't really get Billie. Maybe it would be easier if they both had last names, but they don't, and that can mean two things:
(1) The producers have no better idea of how to make these characters seem like your friends. Or,
(2) They haven't got enough creativity or energy to think up any last names.
I'd tell you about the young father and his ridiculous, unappealing slacker friends, who all move in with Billie, but after watching Accidentally on Purpose, I don't have any energy or creativity, either.
Accidentally on Purpose
8:30 p.m. Mondays on CBS3