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

    Wednesday, August 15

    The Goldbergs - "Dinner with the Goldbergs" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    Erica warns Geoff about going to dinner with her family to celebrate her birthday, but he insists. Upon arrival, it’s apparent this will be no ordinary dinner out: The family changes tables multiple times, Beverly sends her food back, Murray insists Adam order off the children’s menu and Barry wants to change his order, but it’s too late. By evening’s end, Geoff hits his breaking point.

    American Housewife - "Midlife Crisis" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    Katie takes Oliver out of school for a day to help loosen him up after Oliver suffers from a meltdown about something minor. Meanwhile, Anna-Kat takes Greg to the park to help him make new friends.

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    American Housewife - "All Coupled Up" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    The Otto children are beginning to experience struggles in their love lives after jumping into the dating world: Oliver is forced to choose between his girlfriend and his friend Cooper who come from two different worlds; Greg must play the “bad cop parent” to halt the PDA between Taylor and Trip; and Anna-Kat tries to make her relationship with Franklin official, without his consent.

    Alone Together - "Daypassers" (Freeform, 8:00PM ET/PT)
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    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 13)

    Wednesday, August 15

    • Tom Arnold (Roseanne/The Tom Show/Tom) - Watch Tom on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Jerrod Carmichael (the Carmichael Show) - Jerrod stops by Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • Chris O'Dowd (Family Tree/The IT Crowd) - Chris visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He talks about Juliet, Naked on the BUILD Series at 3pm.
    • Regina Hall (Insecure/Grandfathered) - Regina appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
    • Ariana Grande (Sam & Cat/Victorious) - Ariana is a guest on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Jimmy O. Yang (Silicon Valley) - Jimmy drops by Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Trevor Noah at 11pm.
    • Sanaa Lathan (Family Guy/The Cleveland Show/LateLine) - Sanaa chats on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    • Jennifer Finnigan (Better with You/Committed/Student Bodies) - Jennifer appears on a repeat of The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    • Rob Lowe (The Grinder/Parks and Recreation) - Rob is a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
    • Tony Rock (Living Biblically) - Tony appears on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
    • Jason Ritter (The Class) - Jason is a guest on a repeat of Steve, so check your local listings.
    • Debby Ryan (Insatiable/Jessie/The Suite Life on Deck) - Debby talks about Insatiable's controversies on E!'s Daily Pop at 12pm.
    • Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat) and Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken/Community) - Constance and Ken talk about Crazy Rich Asians on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
    • Rev Run and Justine Simmons (All About the Washingtons) - Rev Run and Justine talk about All About the Washingtons on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
    • Regina King (227) - Regina talks about Seven Seconds on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
    • Melissa Carcache (Every Witch Way) - Melissa talks about her Hallmark Channel original movie Love at Sea on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
    • Zach Braff (Alex, Inc./Scrubs) - Zach is a guest on a repeat of Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.


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