Friday, March 14, 2008

ABC Mid-Season Pilot Review: Miss Guided - Premieres March 18; TV One April 2008

Miss Guided

Miss Guided - Thursdays 8:00PM & 8:30PM ET/PT on ABC
Premieres Tuesday, March 18 on a special night and time of 10:30PM ET/PT following Dancing with the Stars

This new ABC half-hour comedy series Miss Guided stars Judy Greer and is from actor/producer Ashton Kutcher (he also guest stars on this show) and Emmy Award-winning director Todd Holland directs this series that takes on high school's annoying tendency to repeat itself.

Having finally conquered the awkward, traumatic world of high school, Becky Freeley (Judy Greer) returns to her alma mater as a guidance counselor with her insecurities and orthodontia a distant memory.

While Becky deftly navigates the uncertainties of troubled students and an often troubling faculty, she is certain of one thing - her desperate attraction to hot mechanic-turned-Spanish teacher Tim (Kristoffer Polaha). Now that it seems Becky might finally be getting the upper hand in life and love, she's shocked to discover that the newly hired English teacher is none other than her high school nemesis, Lisa Germain (Brooke Burns). Lisa is a smart, stunning beauty, and suddenly Becky is forced to relive her past and compete for Tim's affections.

Cast Details:

Judy Greer as Becky Freeley, Kristoffer Polaha as Tim O'Malley, Brooke Burns as Lisa Germain, Chris Parnell as Vice Principal Bruce Terry, Earl Billings as Principal Phil Huffy

Judy Greer (Becky Freeley) has been on various TV series in the past. She has guest starred on series such as Early Edition, Family Guy, Maggie Winters, Just Shoot Me, Two and a Half Men and My Name is Earl. She might be best remembered for her role in Arrested Development as Kitty Sanchez. Judy also co-starred on the short-lived sitcom Love & Money and the short-lived drama Love Monkey. On the big screen her various films include The Three Kings, The Village, 13 Going on 30, The Wedding Planner and 27 Dresses opposite Katherine Heigl.

Kristoffer Polaha (Tim O'Malley) has graced the small screen over the last decade in various TV work. He is best known for his co-starring role in North Shore. Among the series he has guest starred on are Angel, Roswell, Birds of Prey, House, Bones, Mad Men, , and C.S.I. Miami. His comedy works include guest starring on both It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and short-lived ABC sitcom Hot Properties.

Brooke Burns (Lisa Germain) is best known for her role as Jessie Owens for three years on Baywatch. She has also co-starred on TV series such as North Shore (with co-star Kristoffer Polaha) and Pepper Dennis. She has also appeared on series such as Ally McBeal, Just Shoot Me, and She Spies. On the big screen, Burns starred in Shallow Hal, opposite Jack Black and Gwyneth Paltrow and in Smokejumpers, alongside Erin Karpluk and Rick Ravanello.

Chris Parnell (Vice Principal Bruce Terry) is an alumnus of Saturday Night Live, having made memorable contributions as a regular cast member off and on from 1998-2007 with his impersonations ranging from Eminem to Tom Brokaw. He has made numerous guest appearances on series such as 30 Rock, Seinfeld, The Jamie Foxx Show, Suddenly Susan, Murphy Brown, TV Funhouse, Friends and Ed, among others. On the big screen he made his debut in 1996 in Jingle All the Way and has since also appeared in The Ladies Man, Down with Love and Anchroman: The Ron Burgundy Story.

Earl Billings (Principal Phil Huffy) is a familiar face for sitcom and TV fans. He had a recurring role on the hit '70s sitcom What's Happening!! playing the character of Rob (the owner of Rob's Place). He has appeared on dozens of television series and made-for-television movies/mini-series including Roots: The Second Generation, Rockford Files, Perry Mason, Menendez: A Killing in Beverly Hills. Just a few of series television roles include Good Times, The Jeffersons, Home Improvement, South Central, Frank's Place, New Attitude, Family Matters, Roc, Wayans Bros, The Parkers, How I Met Your Mother, Without a Trace, ER and Ally McBeal, among others. His work on the big screen includes numerous film roles including Something New, American Splendor, Thank You for Smoking, Fat Albert, The Antwone Fisher Story, Con Air, Crimson Tide, Youngblood, Wired, among many others.

Pilot Plot:

#1 "Homecoming" (Airs Tuesday, March 18 at 10:30PM ET/PT).
Becky Freeley returns to her alma mater as a guidance counselor after having finally conquered the awkward, traumatic world of high school. With her orthodontia and teenage insecurities a distant memory, Becky deftly navigates the uncertainties of troubled students and an often troubling faculty, she is certain of one thing – her desperate attraction to hot mechanic-turned-Spanish-teacher, Tim. Now that Becky might finally get the upper hand in life and love, she is shocked to discover that the newly hired English teacher is none other than her high school nemesis Lisa Germain (Brooke Burns). Lisa is a smart, stunning beauty and, suddenly, Becky is forced to relive her past and compete for Tim's affection.

Guest starring in "Homecoming" are Jonathan Sadowski as Gary, Chad Broskey as Shane, Chelsea Harris as Allison, Daryl Sabara as Russell, Samantha Gray Hissong as Heidi, Vanessa Marano as Kelly, A.J. Noel as the whiny band geek, Christian Serratos as the weeping cheerleader, Jesse Fremont Allis as the angry delinquent, Tom Choi as Ed, Tim Bagley as Peter, Tiffany Hines as the pretty student, Juan Carlos Cantu as the janitor, Jane Galloway Heitz as the lunch lady and Lauren Gates as the thin girl.

"Homecoming" was written by Caroline Williams and directed by Todd Holland.

We also viewed the second episode airing, titled "The Hot Sub," which will air Thursday, March 20 at 8:00PM ET/PT, the show's regular night and time premiere. This episode was actually shot 6th, but is airing as the premiere episode in its normal time premiere.
Becky is over the moon when a hot Spanish substitute teacher (guest starring Ashton Kutcher as Beaux), chooses her over Lisa, but has second thoughts when his presence threatens Tim's job. Meanwhile, one of Becky's troubled students (guest starring Jamie Lynn Spears as Mandy Ferner), gets exciting news from college, but considers throwing it all away if it disrupts romantic life.

Guest starring in "Hot Sub" are Ashton Kutcher as Beaux, Jamie Lynn Spears as Mandy Ferner, Angel Laketa Moore as the staffer, Robin Krieger as the secretary, Mikey Reid as Roger, Travis Caldwell as Michael and Scotch Ellis Loring as Mr. Shoemaker.

"Hot Sub" was written by Kevin Etten and directed by Todd Holland.

Analysis:

After watching the first two episodes that are airing, I can say that this show is worth airing. The show completed 7 episodes before the writers' strike started and we will see all 7 episodes in 3 weeks. There was talk that it wouldn't even air at all because of the strike, but I'm glad it is airing! I think many people will be surprised that it is actually a good single-camera sitcom. If this hits, it could be paired with the hit sitcom Samantha Who? starring Christina Applegate next season.

The show is basically about Becky coming back to her old high school as a guidance counselor. Her high school nemesis Lisa Germain is also hired at the school as an English teacher. I can see a lot of battles between the two in future episodes. Becky's love interest seems to be the Spanish teacher Tim O'Malley. Tim doesn't realize however that Becky seems interested. Will Lisa beat her to him? Rounding out the great bunch is the Principal and Vice Principal. They both are very funny and have great chemistry together. Fans of What's Happening!! will like seeing Earl Billings again on a sitcom. He looks familiar still, but has gained some weight making him more like Bubba from Sanford & Son these days.

Basically the pilot revolves around the homecoming dance, hence the title of the episode. Will it be like high school all over again for Becky? There are some very funny scenes, especially when Becky is in the bushes looking on in the homecoming dance, because Tim and Lisa are there together.
The second episode is about a new substitute Spanish teacher, played by Ashton Kutcher. He uses an unorthodox way of teaching, but is it really a good method? He has everyone hooked, including the Principal, that Tim O'Malley has been demoted back to mechanics class instead of Spanish. When Ashton's character is walking in to the school for the first time, you see a girl in a blue shirt do something so hilarious. I won't ruin it, but a promo has shown a bit of it. Jamie Lynn Spears also guest stars in the episode as a confused teenager seeking about college. My has she grown up. She looks great and looks exactly like her sister when she was that age.

Conclusion:

I really hope this show hits and does well. It is pretty funny and charming. It should debut nicely after Dancing with the Stars but hopefully viewers follow it to Thursdays for the next three weeks. The mind of Ashton Kutcher is always innovative and his show are very young skewing (Punk'd, Beauty & the Geek). This show has gotten me thinking how it would be like to go back to high school and relive memories...both good and bad. Students currently in high school could also relate to this sitcom and have some fun with it. I would put this series so far up there with the best new sitcoms (The Big Bang Theory, Samantha Who). Maybe not better than those two yet, but it has a chance.

Maybe this show will be a hit rather than a "burn-off," since 7 episodes are being crammed into three weeks...but ABC has nothing to pair it with right now. With limited scripted programming currently, viewers will likely watch...I hope at least. What to look for in future episodes includes a guest appearance by Edie McClurg playing Mrs. Pool (ironically she played a character by that name on the hit '80s sitcom The Hogan Family). Will it be the same character? Tune in March 27 for that episode!
This is the best school-themed show currently, forget about High School Reunion, this is much better, funnier and more realer.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 4/5
Funiness: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 03/14/08

Discuss the show after you watch it on Tuesday on our message board.

Related Links:

  • ABC.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Miss Guided Photo Gallery



  • Moving on to some news...we will talk about TV One in April 2008. We broke the story first about The Hughleys coming to TV One in April, now the trades have finally reported it this week. We already reported that it will start with a weekend marathon on April 5 and 6, but now we have details on its regular timings and the rest of TV One April!
    Beginning on Monday, April 7, comedian D.L. Hughley's family sitcom The Hughleys joins TV One's weekday lineup at 7:30 PM and 11:30 PM. Because of this, some programs will be shifted a bit on weekdays:
    1:00PM – Good News (replaces Wanda at Large)
    6:30PM – Parent'Hood replaces Hangin' With Mr. Cooper)
    7:30PM – The Hughleys (replaces Parent'Hood)
    11:30PM – The Hughleys (replaces Eve)
    4:00AM – Eve (replaces Wanda at Large)
    4:30AM – Good Times (replaces Hangin' with Mr. Cooper)
    5:00AM – Divorce Court (replaces Parent'hood)
    5:30AM – Divorce Court (replaces Good Times)

    Some stunts for April include that Hughleys two-day marathon. Saturday, April 5 from 8pm-6am and Sunday, April 6 from 4-7pm with an encore late night. Then on Saturday, April 26 beginning at noon through 10pm, it's a "Cedric Weekend" on TV One as Cedric the Entertainer’s variety/sketch comedy series Cedric the Entertainer Presents hits the TV One airwaves in an all-day marathon to keep viewers in stitches watching the resident funnyman in a variety of sketches playing a host of wacky characters and lampooning national past-times, attitudes and situations. Then on Sunday, April 27 at 9PM, Cedric the Entertainer gets serious with host Cathy Hughes in the premiere of an all-new episode of the TV One original interview series TV One on One. Cedric opens up about career highs and lows as well as some personal demons that don't always have the famous funnyman laughing out loud. An encore airing is scheduled for midnight.

    Yes, we promised ION April 2008, but as of now only April 1-6 has been released and it confirms that Baywatch is just Saturdays at 6PM starting March 29, while Drew Carey Show will air 9-11PM Mon-Thurs until at least April 3. We will know very soon if that will continue for the rest of April or not...hopefully sometime next week, so come on back. Also, early next week we have some BET minor schedule news and don't forget to come this weekend for our weekly mini-reviews, Solomon's Weekly Rant and the Weekly Ratings report!


    New on DVD/Blu-ray (June/July)

    The League - Season 7 - The Final Fantasy Maude - The Complete Fifth Season Workaholics - Season Six Two Guys and a Girl - The Complete Series Family Matters - The Complete Seventh Season

    06/14 - Ballers - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
    06/14 - The League - Season 7 - The Final Fantasy
    06/14 - The League - The Complete Series
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    06/14 - Survivor's Remorse - The Complete Second Season
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    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of July 25)

    Sunday, July 24

    • Michael Rapaport (The War at Home) - Catch Michael on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
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