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, April 24

    Roseanne - "Twenty Years to Life" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    During the first half-hour episode of the season premiere, Roseanne and Dan adjust to living under the same roof with Darlene and her two children, Harris and Mark, when Darlene loses her job. Meanwhile, Becky announces she is going to be a surrogate to make extra money; and Roseanne and Jackie are at odds with one another.

    Roseanne - "Dress to Impress" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    During the second half-hour episode, Darlene’s son, Mark, gets caught with a pocket knife after being bullied on the first day of his new school. Meanwhile, Becky invites Andrea over to meet the family and is nervous to bring her home.

    Roseanne - "Eggs Over, Not Easy" (ABC, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    A crucial moment for Becky’s surrogacy arrangement forces her and Darlene to critically assess each other’s lives. Meanwhile, an animal rescue organization rejects Jackie’s application to adopt a puppy; and Roseanne makes a plan to change their mind.

    Roseanne - "Darlene v. David" (ABC, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    David unexpectedly shows up for Harris’ birthday after being absent for years, forcing Darlene to re-examine their relationship and the rest of the family. Meanwhile, Roseanne and Jackie’s mother, Bev, temporarily moves into the Conner home after an incident at the nursing home prevents her from returning.

    LA to Vegas - "Captain Dave's on a Roll" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
    In a depressed state after breaking up with Patricia, Dave agrees to go gambling with Artem and Colin while the others cover for him when he runs late to do his job; Ronnie has difficulties deciding whether to move in with Bryan or not.

    New Girl - "Lillypads" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
    Schmidt asks Jess to help prepare Ruth for an interview to get into a prestigious pre-school; Nick begins procrastinating with his writing; Winston gets ready to confront his specific fear of appearing in court to testify.

    The Last O.G. - "Swipe Right" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
    Cousin Bobby convinces Tray to try a popular dating app; he lands a great match but realizes that he's not emotionally ready for a new relationship.

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of April 23)

    Tuesday, April 24

    • Kevin James (Kevin Can Wait/The King of Queens) - Catch Kevin on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
    • Hank Azaria (Brockmire/The Simpsons/Free Agents) - Hank is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Judy Greer (Married/Mad Love/Miss Guided/Arrested Development) - Judy appears on The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
    • Zach Braff (Alex, Inc./Scrubs) - Zach visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • Alia Shawkat (Search Party/Arrested Development) - Alia stops by Conan at 11pm on TBS.
    • Kelly Ripa (Hope & Faith) and Mark Consuelos (Alpha House/Hope & Faith) - Kelly and Mark are guests on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
    • Candace Cameron Bure (Fuller House/Full House) - Candace chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
    • Henry Winkler (Happy Days/Monty/Out of Practice/Arrested Development) - Henry speaks about the series Barry on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
    • T.R Knight (Charlie Lawrence) - T.R. appears on The Real, so check your local listings.
    • Aubrey Anderson-Emmons (Modern Family) - Aubrey is a guest on Access Live, so check your local listings.
    • Jason Biggs (Mad Love/Drexell's Class) - Jason and his wife Jenny Mollen are guests on Rachael Ray, so check your local listings.
    • Molly Ringwald (Townies/The Facts of Life) - Molly talks about her new film All These Moments on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
    • Ali Wentworth (Nightcap) - Ali talks about her new book Go Ask Ali on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
    • Chris Rock (Everybody Hates Chris) - Chris and Adam Sandler talk about The Week of on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
    • Lori Loughlin (Fuller House/Hudson Street/Full House) - Lori is a guest on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
    • Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs/Rules of Engagement/Reno 911!) - Wendi cooks up something delicious with Michael Symon on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.


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