Monday, September 18, 2006

Head to 'The Class' for its Premiere Tonight!

In the interest of full disclosure, I should let you know that I'm not a big fan of the "traditional sitcom." You know the sort -- multi-camera shoot with a laugh track. I'm more of a Scrubs, My Name is Earl and Everybody Hates Chris type of sitcom lover, so needless to say, my expectations for CBS' new traditional sitcom The Class (premieres tonight on CBS) weren't very high. Thanks to the great folks at the network, I was able to watch the first 3 episodes of this series, and you know what? I liked it! It's no Scrubs or Earl and it has its faults, but overall, it's good. The concept is simple -- Ethan (Joan of Arcadia's Jason Ritter) rounds up the members of his and his fiancee's third grade class in order to surprise her for their engagement party. Things don't turn out how Ethan planned, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The comedy has a dramatic edge as it explores how the dreams and expectations of third graders get swallowed up by the real world. There's a classmate in a marriage that she's not fully committed to, another contemplating suicide, one who just walked in on her boyfriend and another woman, another who is still living at home with his mom pining away for his former classmate and another who is still holding resentment and hostility toward the classmate who abandoned her on prom night. The Class isn't just about a reunion, but how the reunion affects all of those involved in it. Most of the cast is solid, including Mean Girls' Lizzy Caplan who kept me laughing through all three episodes. It's nice to see Ritter again, and his role is a huge departure from his Kevin Gerardi character on the late, great Joan of Arcadia. Lucy Punch, who plays Holly, overacts in the pilot, but she tones it down in later episodes. The show sometimes tries too hard to get a laugh, but there are plenty of genuinely funny parts to balance it out. And even if there weren't, the storylines that tie the characters together are interesting enough to keep you coming back.

THE 411
PREMISE: Former 3rd grade classmates reunite and their lives become entangled
STARRING: Jason Ritter, Andrea Anders (Joey), Lizzy Caplan, Jon Bernthal, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Heather Goldenhersh, Sean Maquire and Lucy Punch
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: David Crane (Friends), Jeffrey Klarik (Mad About You) and James Burrows
EXTRA BONUS: Catch break-out stars Heather Goldenhersh, Jon Bernthal and Jesse Tyler Ferguson before they're famous
BOTTOM LINE: A solid new comedy that could be this year's How I Met Your Mother. GRADE: B
PREMIERES: Monday, September 18th (TONIGHT) at 8 p.m. (EST) on CBS. For more information, visit cbs.com.

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1 comment:

suekola44 said...

I didn't get to see it. I was watching Prison Break.