September 22, 2009

TV: Accidentally On Purpose (CBS, Mon 8:30)

I've never been particularly fond of Jenna Elfman, so I was surprised at how much I liked her in this. She stars as Billie, a late-30s film critic who finds herself pregnant after a brief relationship with the much younger Zack (Jon Foster). ("Apparently," she explains, "condoms aren't 100% effective unless you actually take them out of your purse.")

Billie's best friend, Olivia (Ashley Jensen), and her younger, more conventional sister, Abby (Lennon Parham), are excited at the prospect of a baby; her boss and ex-boyfriend, James (Grant Show), is less so, especially when Billie invites Zack to move into her apartment.

The cast doesn't feel entirely on the same page yet; Jensen, using her natural Scottish accent, is notably louder and broader than anyone else, and Foster needs to up his energy level a bit if he doesn't want to keep being blown off the screen. But that's not an unusual problem for a pilot, and will no doubt be worked out in the next few weeks.

The show doesn't feel to me like the best fit with the CBS Monday lineup of comedies, which are very guy-oriented shows; this one's very much the sitcom equivalent of a chick flick. It would seem to be a better fit with The New Adventures of Old Christine on Wednesday night (and though I don't like the show, Wednesday's Gary Unmarried would be a better fit here).

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