NBC green lights: series of newly widowed dad comedy The Kenan Show, with Kenan Thompson and Andy Garcia…
…Jeffery Deaver’s Bone Collector adaptation Lincoln, with Russell Hornsby and Arielle Kebbel; church choir comedy Perfect Harmony, with Bradley Whitford, Anna Camp, Tymberlee Hill et al; and live-in grandparents comedy Indebted, with Adam Pally, Abby Elliott, Steven Weber and Fran Drescher
In the US: Tuesdays, 9.30/8.30c, ABC In the UK: Not yet acquired
Culture clashes seem to be one of the big concerns of network US comedies these days. Black/white, middle-class/working-class, traditional/modern, famous/unknown – imagine the hilarity as everyone tries to understand everyone else from different backgrounds. Not all such concerns are US-specific, of course. New US arrival Bless This Mess, for example, is somewhat similar to two other recent shows from other countries – Canada’s Cavendish and New Zealand’s Fresh Eggs – in trying to make us laugh at urban/rural culture clashes. But if you’re going to do it, you need to have something new to say and some observations to make. Bless This Mess doesn’t.
Here, the set-up is that a New York married couple – therapist Lake Bell (Boston Legal, Childrens Hospital) and music journalist Dax Shepard (Parenthood) – inherit a Nebraskan farmhouse and sight-unseen, decide to relocate the countryside for a new life as farmers. Plausible, huh?
However, once they’re there, they discover that the farmhouse is in need of a touch of repair, the farmland is barren and they have all manner of ‘interesting’ neighbours: live-in neighbour Ed Begley Jr, store owner/sheriff/amateur thespian Pam Grier and rival farmer David Koechner (Anchorman) who’d quite like to buy the property from them.
Can they make a success of both their farm and their relationships with their new neighbours?