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Review: Broke 1×1 (US: CBS)

In the US: Thursdays, 9.30/8.30c, CBS
In the UK: Not yet acquired

When it comes to sitcoms, it’s surprisingly easy and time-saving to judge a book by its cover – which is what I did with CBS’s new sitcom, Broke. Multi-camera show shot in front of an audience (or canned laughter)? Check. CBS? Check. Two disparate social groups set against one another? Check. Vehicle for a previous star of another show from the same network? Check.

Here, we have the 15-year veteran of CBS’s NCIS, Pauley Perrette, starring and producing in a show that sees her playing a single mum trying to raise her kid in her family home by working two jobs. The father, a member of a Van Halen cover band, is long gone and his child support cheques bounce.

Then, without warning, her sister (Another Period‘s Natasha Leggero) turns up on her doorstep with her über-rich Mexican-American husband (Jane the Virgin‘s Jaime Camil) and his personal assistant (Telenovela‘s Izzy Diaz), who want to stay with her for a while. While hating her sister, her fake accent and her newly acquired nouveau riche ways, Perrette is happy to see her – if only because of her money.

However, the title of the show gives the game away here – Camil’s broke.

The Good, the Broke and the Ugly

It’s certainly possible to read all of that, look at the publicity shots I’ve just used and come to the conclusion that you might prefer to blowtorch your own genitals than watch even one second of the sitcom you’ve already imagined in your mind.

Certainly, the first few minutes pre-title sequence are inauspicious. It doesn’t seem like either the cast or the director have read the script, judging by the way they deliver the lines, which often has no real relationship to how they’re written.

One moment we’re being told Leggero grew up in this family house and knows it intimately, the next she’s asking where the guest quarters are. Again, maybe if Leggero had delivered it differently, that might have worked as a putdown, but said deliberately, it just seems like the writers haven’t read their own scripts either.

Acres of mild class warfare later and you’d think that was all the show had to offer. But there are surprises to be had.

Continue reading “Review: Broke 1×1 (US: CBS)”
Phoebe Waller Bridge
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Lincoln Rhyme: God Complex
Airdates

What time, TMINE? Including Vagrant Queen, Lincoln Rhyme and Upload

Every Friday, TMINE lets you know when the latest TV shows from around the world will air in the UK

People in TV seem to be getting used to the new normal, since we’re getting a few more acquisitions and premiere dates coming through.

Acquisitions

  • Vagrant Queen (US: Syfy) got picked up by Syfy UK. That starts at 9pm on April 15, but I reviewed the first episode yesterday, so will say no more about it here.
  • Lincoln Rhyme (US: NBC) also got acquired, this time by Sky Witness. However, that’s only got a vague airdate of ‘April’, so I’ll hold off giving it a full write-up until we get something more definite.

That just leaves…

UK premiere dates

Upload (Amazon)

UK premiere date: Friday, May 1

From Emmy-Award winning writer Greg Daniels (The Office, Parks and Recreation) comes Upload, a new sci-fi comedy series set in a technologically advanced future where hologram phones, 3D food printers and automated grocery stores are the norm. Most uniquely, humans can choose to be “uploaded” into a virtual afterlife when they find themselves near-death.

The series follows a young app developer, Nathan Brown (Robbie Amell), who winds up in the hospital following a self-driving car accident, needing to quickly decide his fate. After a rushed deliberation with his shallow girlfriend Ingrid (Allegra Edwards), he chooses to be uploaded to her family’s luxurious virtual afterlife, the Horizen company’s “Lakeview”.

Once uploaded in Lakeview, Nathan meets his customer service “Angel” Nora Anthony (Andy Allo), who at first is his charismatic concierge and guide, but quickly becomes his friend and confidante, helping him navigate this new digital extension of life.