Thursday, May 23, 2013

NBC Midseason Pilot Review: Save Me - Premieres May 23; TV One Orders 4th Season of Sitcom Love That Girl!

Save Me

Save Me - Thursdays at 8:00PM and 8:30PM ET/PT on NBC
Premieres Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 8:00PM ET/PT


by Skees

Life isn't so pleasant for Beth Harper (Anne Heche) in NBC's latest sitcom, Save Me. The housewife is in a bit of a funk in life, and her husband Tom (Michael Landes) is on the verge of divorcing her to be with his mistress. Fortunately for Beth, she gets lucky (sort of...) when she chokes on a sandwich late at night, and becomes something a bit "divine."

Cast Details:
Anne Heche as Beth Harper
Michael Landes as Tom Harper
Alexandra Breckenridge as Carly Brugano
Heather Burns as Jenna Derring
Madison Davenport as Emily Harper

Anne Heche (Beth Harper) is a well known actress who started her TV career in 1987 in the NBC soap opera Another World, for which she won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1991. She later went on to film roles, including I Know What You Did Last Summer, Donnie Brasco, and Cedar Rapids. More recently, she has had TV roles in the series Men in Trees and Hung.

Michael Landes (Tom Harper) is best known for his role as Jimmy Olsen in the first season of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (he was replaced by Justin Whalen beginning in the second season). He has had small roles in series including thirtysomething, The Wonder Years, The Torkelsons, Step by Step, and more.

Alexandra Breckenridge (Carly Brugano) began acting at the age of 15, and is also a photographer and voice artist. She has appeared in series such as Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared, but her biggest roles have been those of Willa McPherson on Dirt and many various roles on episodes of Family Guy.

Heather Burns (Jenna Derring) has appeared in films such as Miss Congeniality and Two Weeks Notice, but has most recently had a starring role in the HBO series Bored to Death. She is married to actor Ajay Naidu.

Madison Davenport (Emily Harper) made her television debut in 2005 in the series Numb3rs. She has since had guest roles in other crime dramas such as CSI, CSI: NY, Bones, and most recently had a recurring role in the Showtime series Shameless.


Pilot Plot:

"Pilot" (airs Thursday, May 23 at 8:00 PM ET/PT)

In the pilot episode, we are introduced to Beth Harper, a somewhat self-centered housewife who seems to be on the verge of killing her cheating husband Tom after a life full of disappointments. But not quite. She instead heads into the kitchen to take a bite out of a sandwich, which turns into something much more divine after she chokes on that sandwich. Suddenly, she is the wife who wants to love her husband and get rid of that woman he has been having an affair with. She is the mother who cares about her daughter and her relationship with the "boy next door." She is the neighbor who wants to be among the rest of the "desperate housewives" on the block. It is a very ambitious goal, and now that she has the ability to read minds and get in touch with the people around her (and actually care), her work may just be cut out for her.

Analysis:

I'm never a big fan of pilot episodes, and I'm never really wowed by them. However, this pilot episode was a bit different. Not only are we introduced to the cast almost instantly (without anything too long and drawn out), but we also get to see a bit of an actual plot. But what worries me is that they may have created a bit of a situation that tells a story in one episode that could have been split over several episodes (or even an entire series). There was quite a bit of conflict with those around Beth at the beginning of the episode, and by the end of the episode, that conflict all seemed to be resolved.

Still, despite all of that initial conflict being solved in the pilot, what I saw what would have been one of the most promising series of the season... except NBC, for some reason, didn't have enough faith to air it during the regular season and is instead burning it off in the summer. The pilot was a pretty good episode, and the ending of the episode (which I won't spoil) was a bit "shocking" and something that I think viewers almost wanted to see. There are far too many "relationship sitcoms" out there these days, and it is a bit refreshing to see one where it isn't about "hooking up" with somebody, but instead about repairing what somebody already has.

The comedy in the pilot episode isn't necessarily the laugh out loud style of comedy (few sitcoms are anymore), but it is a bit more of a dark comedy style, something like you'd expect on a premium cable series. Fortunately, I (and many others out there) like this style of comedy and that will make the show enjoyable for us... but that could present a problem since the show is airing on NBC, where viewers are accustomed to a more sanitized comedy with laugh out loud moments.


Conclusion:

Can this show be "saved?" I doubt it. When a series debuts after the end of the official TV season, it is pretty much an indication that the network has given up on the series before they even decided to give it a chance. Honestly, I don't understand why they chose to burn this series off. It seems that a lot of the critics have come to the same solution: this series would give Anne Heche an Emmy Award... if the series on Showtime. It is a bit of a fish out of water on NBC, but at the very least, I hope that they give us the opportunity to see all of the episodes that have been produced. I do have hopes that the series will continue with the positive momentum that the first episode had, and we'll be able to judge for ourselves as the second episode (which we were not able to review) will air immediately following the pilot. All in all, the pilot suggests something very promising... except it is on the wrong network at the wrong time.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 4/5
Funniness: 2/5
Overall: 3/5

Discuss the show after you watch it on Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 8:00PM ET/PT on our message board.

Related Links:

  • NBC.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Save Me Photo Gallery

    Preview:





  • Love That Girl

    TV One has ordered a new season for an original sitcom! The laughs keep coming to TV One with the return of Love That Girl!, a half-hour comedy series chronicling the life and times of Imunique Jefferson and Delroy Jones, and the crazy, but loving bond that makes them not just colleagues, but family. Production is scheduled to begin May 2013 with an anticipated premiere date in fall 2013. Created by Bentley Kyle Evans (Martin, The Jamie Foxx Show), the fourth season features an all-star cast including Phil Morris (Hot in Cleveland), Bresha Webb (Weeds), Alphonso McAuley (Breaking In), Peter Oldring (Glenn Martin DDS), Mark Adair-Rios (Off The Map), and Huggy Low Down (Tom Joyner Morning Show).

    New to the series, is seasoned sitcom star Reagan Gomez (The Cleveland Show, The Parent'Hood) as Del Jones Realty's newest employee and Delroy's niece, Jasmine Russell. Not afraid to use nepotism cards when it suits her, Jasmine discovers making it in LA is tougher than she imagined. Stay with us for continued updates including when the actual season premiere date and time will be.


    Sitcoms Airing Tonight

    Tuesday, December 12

    The Middle - "The Christmas Miracle" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
    It’s Christmastime, and Frankie and Sue are devastated after Axl informs them that he’s not going to church this year because he’s beginning to question his faith. Meanwhile, Mike goes to war with the Glossner kids after they keep defacing his new, giant inflatable snowman; and Brick goes all out in an attempt to wrap his first present for a planned Christmas Yankee Swap.

    Fresh Off the Boat - "Do You Hear What I Hear?" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
    As head of the HOA Christmas committee, Jessica threatens to cut the neighborhood caroling this year due to last year’s rocky performance. However, Deirdre says that her friend Holly (Paula Abdul), who teaches “Performance and Movement,” will help get everyone into tip-top, melodic shape. Meanwhile, Marvin becomes suspicious of Honey when she goes to see “Titanic” at the movies without him; Nicole develops her first girl crush and struggles with how to get her attention.

    black-ish - "Sugar Daddy" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
    Dre is diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and after talking to Pops, he’s resolved to curing himself. Things come to a head at the Stevens & Lido holiday party. Meanwhile, Jack is convinced that baby Devante hates him, so he enlists Junior and Diane’s help.

    The Mayor - "Grey Christmas" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
    After visiting a homeless shelter on Christmas Eve, Courtney realizes things for the needy could be improved and pledges to make it a joyous Christmas that every family deserves. But when he learns he doesn’t have the budget to deliver on his promise, Courtney loses hope and his holiday spirit which leads to a magical “It’s A Wonderful Life” moment that makes him realize he has the gift needed to pull off a Christmas miracle.

    Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Game Night" / "The Favor" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
    Rosa asks for Jake's help to deliver important information to her parents, but their plan goes awry when they assume the two are in a relationship; Seamus Murphy comes back to redeem an ethically questionable favor owed by Capt. Holt.

    Teachers - "Let It Flow" (TV Land, 10:00PM ET/PT)
    Ms. Cannon discovers that one of her students is an artistic prodigy. Mrs. Adler and Ms. Watson take the mini-society competition to a new level.

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of December 11)

    Tuesday, December 12

    • Tom Hanks (Bosom Buddies) - Catch Tom on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also talks about The Post on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am.
    • Jane Krakowski (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/30 Rock) - Jane appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Ari Graynor (I'm Dying Up Here/Bad Teacher) - Ari is a guest on Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • Niecy Nash (The Soul Man/Getting On/Do Not Disturb/Reno 911!) - Niecy visits The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    • Bill Pullman (1600 Penn) - Bill stops by Steve, so check your local listings.
    • Miles Brown (black-ish) - Miles appears on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
    • Ana Gasteyer (People of Earth/Lady Dynamite/Suburgatory) - Ana talks about Fox's A Christmas Story Live! on Access Hollywood Live, so check your local listings.
    • Noah Galvin (The Real O'Neals) - Noah talks about Dear Evan Hansen on the BUILD Series at 4pm.


    New on DVD/Blu-ray (November/December)

    The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Third Season Living Single - The Complete Third Season Alice - The Complete Sixth Season One Day at a Time - The Complete Series Fuller House - The Complete Second Season

    11/07 - American Dad! - Volume 12
    11/07 - Family Guy - Season Fifteen
    11/07 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Third Season
    11/14 - D.C. Follies - The Complete Series
    11/21 - Living Single - The Complete Third Season
    11/24 - Grandfathered - Season 1
    12/05 - Alice - The Complete Sixth Season
    12/05 - One Day at a Time - The Complete Series
    12/05 - The Simpsons - The Eighteenth Season
    12/05 - South Park - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray) / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
    12/12 - Fuller House - The Complete Second Season
    12/19 - South Park - The Complete Sixth Season (Blu-ray) / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11
    More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest