Wednesday, January 06, 2016

CBS Mid-Season Pilot Review: Angel from Hell - Premieres Thursday, Jan. 7; Netflix Comedy Series Love Launches Feb. 19

Angel from Hell

Angel from Hell - Thursdays at 9:30PM ET/PT on CBS
Premieres Thursday, January 7, 2016 at 9:30PM ET/PT


by Todd

Angel from Hell is a single-camera comedy about Amy, a colorful, brassy woman who insinuates herself into the life of an organized and seemingly perfect young woman, Allison, claiming to be her “guardian angel.” Allison is an intense, driven doctor who is sure that Amy is just an inebriated, outspoken nut, until every one of her warnings proves true. Cautioned by Amy not tell anyone about her, Allison can’t discuss this over-the-top oddball with her father and business partner, Marv, a doctor who shares an office with Allison, or her younger brother, Brad, a sales rep who lives in a guest room over her garage. As Allison tries to push Amy away, Amy makes her final pitch: her sole mission is to provide Allison with helpful guidance that nudges her in the right direction in life – and it’s her final chance to prove herself as an angel. With that, Allison agrees to this unlikely relationship because maybe a weird friend is exactly what she needs… and what if Amy really is her “guardian angel”?

Cast Details:

Jane Lynch as Amy
Maggie Lawson as Allison
Kevin Pollak as Marv
Kyle Bornheimer as Brad

Jane Lynch (Amy) is best known for her role as Sue Sylvester in Glee. She won both an Emmy and Golden Globe Award for the role. She won a second Emmy for her role as host of Hollywood Game Night. Some of her other television guest appearances include Party Down, The L Word, Desperate Housewives, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Criminal Minds and Two and a Half Men.

Maggie Lawson (Allison) is best known for her role as Detective Juliet "Jules" O'Hara in Psych. She has starred in the sitcoms Inside Schwartz, It's All Relative, Crumbs and Back in the Game. Most recently she was seen as Ms. McMartin in the twelfth and final season of Two and Half Men.

Kevin Pollak (Marv) has appeared in sitcoms such as Mom, Work with Me, The Drew Carey Show and Morton & Hayes. He had a recurring role in Shark. His film credits include The Usual Suspects, A Few Good Men, Casino, Avalon, Willow, The Whole Nine Yards and Grumpy Old Men.

Kyle Bornheimer (Brad) has starred in Worst Week, Romantically Challenged, Perfect Couples and Family Tools. His guest appearances include How I Met Your Mother, Will and Grace, The Office, Better Off Ted, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Playing House.

Pilot Plot:

The first two episodes were available for review.

"Pilot" (Airs January 7 at 9:30PM ET)

Allison (Maggie Lawson), a successful, driven doctor, runs into Amy (Jane Lynch), a larger than life, eccentric woman who claims to be her “guardian angel,” and whose mission is to help Allison loosen up and see her life from a new perspective.
Written by Tad Quill
Directed by Don Scardino
Guest Stars: David Denman as Evan, Liza Lapira as Jill, Andrea Rosen as Jill, Kevin Christy as Neighbor, Peter Banifaz as Berry Guy, B.J. Tanner as Kid

"Face Your Fears" (Airs January 14 at 9:30PM ET)

Allison asks New Kids on the Block favorite Joey McIntyre to help her patch up a relationship with an old friend as part of a lesson Amy’s trying to teach her about facing her fears.
Written by Jim Brandon and Brian Singleton
Directed by Clark Mathis
Guest Stars: David Denman as Evan, Jon Dore as Hank, Ginger Gonzaga as Kelly, Rodney J. Hobbs as Manager, Joey McIntyre as himself, Debra Cardona as Bus Driver

Analysis:

Angel from Hell was originally scheduled to premiere on November 5, 2015, but it was pushed back to January 7, 2016. The series is created by Tad Quill (Samantha Who?, Scrubs). Tad Quill and Emmy Award winner Don Scardino (30 Rock) are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. The pilot was directed by Don Scardino.

Angel from Hell is an enjoyable show. The pilot is fast-paced, slickly produced and entertaining. They provide the necessary introductions to the characters and set up the premise of the show in an interesting way. Quite a bit of background information is covered in just 21 minutes. There aren't many laugh-out-loud moments, but it has nice mix of comedy and drama. Jane Lynch has quite a few funny one-liners and provides some good physical comedy. She has a great comic delivery. There are some touching, poignant moments in the episodes, especially in the closing scenes. There's an emotional and surprising video montage that Allison views at the end of the pilot episode that may give you goosebumps. Some short music cues by the composers Gabriel Mann and Rebecca Kneubuhl really stood out. There was also a great song at the end of the pilot.

The talented and charming cast is filled with comedy veterans. Jane Lynch didn't have to wait very long for another TV series after Glee ended its successful run last year. Maggie Lawson and Kyle Bornheimer have starred in a string of short-lived comedies, so maybe they will have a longer run with this series. Kevin Pollak may not be a household name, but he has appeared in many movies and series and always does a fine job. David Denman, who played Roy Anderson in The Office, gives a good performance as Allison's boyfriend, Evan, in the first two episodes. Guest star Joey McIntrye has some funny moments playing himself in the second episode.

Conclusion:

The guardian angel theme has done before in many other television series and films, but Angel from Hell presents a modern spin on it. The strength of the show is its talented and likable cast. Lynch and Lawson have natural charisma and chemistry together. Allison's best friend was her late mother. Amy and Allison have almost a mother-daughter relationship. It will be fun to see how it continues to develop in future episodes. The first two episodes feature many scenes with just the two main characters, so it will be interesting to see the sparks fly when Amy eventually meets Allison's family members.

CBS hasn't had much success with their single camera comedies in recent seasons. It was a bit surprising that they delayed it from the fall when it was being heavily promoted. They also had an opportunity to promote it during the Super Bowl, but it feels like they almost rushed to get it on the air now. It doesn't completely fit with their hit multi-camera sitcoms, but it could be able to develop an audience if given the chance. It's an unique pairing with Allison Janney's character on Mom being a recovering alcoholic and Jane Lynch's character an alcoholic. Maybe they could meet each other in a cross-over episode. The series should do well with women and an older demo, but it probably won't have much mainstream or family appeal. Angel from Hell is a feel-good comedy with lots of heart worth checking out on Thursdays.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 3.5/5
Funniness: 3/5
Overall: 3/5

Discuss the show after you watch it on Thursday, January 6, 2016 at 9:30PM ET/PT on our message board.

Related Links:

  • CBS.com Official Site
  • TV.com
  • epguides.com
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Angel from Hell Photo Gallery

    Preview:





  • On Friday, February 19, Netflix will debut all 10 half-hour episodes of the all-new Judd Apatow comedy series, Love. Created, written and executive produced by Judd Apatow, Paul Rust and Lesley Arfin, Love follows nice guy Gus (Rust) and brazen wild-child Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) as they navigate the exhilarations and humiliations of intimacy, commitment, love and other things they were hoping to avoid. Love is an unflinching, hilarious and excruciatingly honest take on modern relationships. Brent Forrester and Dean Holland also serve as executive producers of Love. 10 episodes will air this year and an additional 12 next year. Check out your first look trailer:


    Sitcoms Airing Tonight

    Thursday, January 23

    Young Sheldon - "An Entrepreneurialist and a Swat on the Bottom" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    Sheldon takes matters into his own hands when Meemaw refuses to drive him to a lecture with Dr. Linkletter (Ed Begley, Jr.). Also, Georgie tries to impress Veronica with his new business venture.

    The Unicorn - "No Small Parts" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    When Grace gets the lead in the school musical, Wade realizes that the teachers are giving her special treatment after he hears her sing. Also, Michelle and Ben persuade Delia and Forrest to volunteer for the chaotic snack bar duty at a school function. Tim Baltz guest stars as Mr. Kersey, Grace’s drama teacher.

    Young Sheldon - "A Pineapple and the Bosom of Male Friendship" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    After being released from the mental hospital, Dr. Sturgis unexpectedly breaks up with Meemaw.

    Mom - "Audrey Hepburn and a Jalepeño Pepper" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    While Bonnie struggles to enjoy her perfect honeymoon with Adam, Christy makes some questionable changes at the bar while they’re away.

    Last Man Standing - "Bedtime Story" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
    Mike tries to avoid hurting Vanessa's feelings due to her snoring.

    Outmatched - "Pilot" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
    Kay and Mike cope with raising three high-IQ children.

    Superstore - "Favoritism" (NBC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
    Amy tries to make Mateo her new assistant, leading to accusations of favoritism and a group competition in the store. Meanwhile, Sandra gets caught in a power struggle between Glenn and Dina, and Jonah attempts to show Garrett that he's still "one of the guys."

    The Good Place - "Patty" (NBC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
    The group makes some new friends.

    Will & Grace - "Lies & Whispers" (NBC, 9:00PM ET/PT)
    When Larry (guest star Tim Bagley) warns Will and Grace about the difficult entry process into the elite school they both want their kids to go to, they set out to prove that their child would be the better candidate. While helping Jenny (guest star Demi Lovato) with her ASMR livestream, Jack unwittingly creates problems between Karen and her “booty buddy,” Luke (guest star Chris Thornton).

    Perfect Harmony - "Regionals" (NBC, 9:30PM ET/PT)
    Season 1 Finale. At the regional choir competition in Lexington, Arthur relishes the opportunity to finally stick it to his old rival, Magnus, when the unexpected happens. Presented with a surprise job offer, Ginny starts to doubt her worth before her big interview. Adams puts her past to bed with her still very alive dead husband, allowing her to move on.

    grown-ish - "Damn" (Freeform, 8:00PM ET/PT)
    The crew tries their best to cope with a shocking surprise, but another unexpected bomb sends Zoey into a spiral.

    Everything's Gonna Be Okay - "Giant Asian Mantises" (Freeform, 8:30PM ET/PT)
    Matilda wants to get white-girl-wasted; Genevieve's low-key birthday party leaves Nicholas, Alex, and Matilda banished to the guest house; in the main house, Tellulah turns things up a notch; Nicholas is stuck being the responsible adult.

    Complete TV Listings


    Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of January 20)

    Thursday, January 23

    • Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) - Catch Kumail on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
    • David Alan Grier (The Cool Kids/The Carmichael Show/Bad Teacher/Life with Bonnie) - David stops by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
    • Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) - Eric visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
    • Fortune Feimster (Bless the Harts/Life in Pieces/Champions) - Fortune appears on A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 1:35am on NBC. She will also be on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
    • Andrew Santino (Mixology) - Andrew is a panelist on Lights Out with David Spade at 11:30pm on Comedy Central.
    • The Cast of Schitt's Creek - The cast of Schitt's Creek are guests on Watch What Happens: Live at 10:30pm on Bravo.
    • Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine/Are We There Yet?/Everybody Hates Chris) - Terry talks about America's Got Talent and Brooklyn Nine-Nine on NBC's Today in the 9am hour. He chats with the ladies of The View on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
    • Nancy Travis (Last Man Standing/The Kominsky Method/The Bill Engvall Show/Becker/Almost Perfect) - Nancy appears on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
    • Jason George (Eve/Off Centre) - Jason is a guest on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
    • Wanda Sykes (The New Adventures of Old Christine/Wanda at Large) - Wanda visits The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
    • Boris Kodjoe (The Last Man on Earth/Second Time Around) - Boris drops by The Real, so check your local listings.
    • Norman Lear (Producer of All in the Family/Sanford and Son/One Day at a Time/The Jeffersons/Good Times/Maude) - Norman is a guest on The Kelly Clarkson Show, so check your local listings.
    • Melora Hardin (The Office) - Melora talks about The Bold Type on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 11:30am ET.
    • Retta (Parks and Recreation) and Reno Wilson (Mike & Molly) - Retta and Reno talk about Good Girls on the BUILD Series at 2pm.


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

    Step by Step - The Complete Fifth Season The Big Bang Theory - The Twelfth and Final Season The King of Queens - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) Fuller House - The Complete Fourth Season My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume One

    11/05 - The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang - The Complete Animated Series
    11/05 - Laverne & Shirley in the Army (Animated Series) - The DVD Edition
    11/05 - Letterkenny - Seasons 1 & 2
    11/05 - Step by Step - The Complete Fifth Season (WBShop.com)
    11/12 - The Big Bang Theory - The Twelfth and Final Season (Blu-ray)
    11/12 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Series (Blu-ray Limited Edition)
    11/18 - The Guest Book - Season Two
    11/19 - The King of Queens - The Complete Series (Mill Creek) (Blu-ray)
    11/19 - The Kominsky Method - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
    12/03 - The Simpsons - The Nineteenth Season
    12/03 - The Simpsons - Seasons 1-20: Limited Collector's Set
    12/06 - 9JKL - The Complete Series
    12/10 - Family Guy - Season Seventeen
    12/17 - Atlanta - Season 2 - Robbin' Season
    12/17 - Fuller House - The Complete Fourth Season
    12/17 - Hogan's Heroes - The Complete Series (2019 Release)
    12/17 - The Other Two - Season 1
    01/02 - My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume One
    01/02 - My Three Sons - The Fifth Season - Volume Two
    01/14 - Veep - The Final (Seventh) Season ((Blu-ray)
    01/14 - Veep - The Complete Series (DVD)
    01/21 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete Third Season (WBShop.com)
    01/21 - The Mindy Project - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
    01/28 - Ballers - The Complete Fifth and Final Season
    01/28 - Ballers - The Complete Series
    01/28 - The Mindy Project - The Complete Series (DVD)
    More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


    Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

    01/23 - The Conners Celebrate Grand Opening of Lanford Lunch Box with Contest; Lifetime Celebrates 30 Years of Original Movies
    01/22 - HBO Max Gets Animated with Royals Comedy; Netflix Announces Premiere Date for Sophia Lillis Comedy
    01/21 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: Hulu - a Comedy with Steve Martin and Martin Short, the Renewal of Dollface
    01/20 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: More Cable; 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® Winners
    01/19 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 20, 2020)
    01/18 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Punky Brewster Reboot Officially a Go; Freeform Renews Pair of Series
    01/17 - Fri-Yay: Sitcoms in 2020; Peacock Streaming Services Programming Update
    01/16 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: Cable Day 2 - American Dad! 2 Season Renewal, Tacoma FD Season 2 Premiere Date
    01/15 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: Cable Day 1 - Comedy Central, Amazon, Paramount Network and More!
    01/14 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: Showtime and Pop; Will Smith & Martin Lawrence Talk Hit Sitcoms
    01/13 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: NBC and CBS Includes The Rock Comedy at NBC and The Price Is Right at Night on CBS
    01/12 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 13, 2020)
    01/11 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Saved by the Bell Reboot Gets More of Original Cast; ABC Expanding Game Show Empire
    01/10 - Fri-Yay: Top Sitcoms of the Decade, Part 2; PIX11 Celebrates 45th Anniversaries of The Jeffersons and Barney Miller
    01/09 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: ABC Includes Modern Family Finale, The Conners Live and Return of Millionaire
    01/08 - TCA Winter 2020 Press Tour: Fox; 13 Series Renewed for 2020-21 on The CW
    01/07 - E! News Gets 3rd Host for Midday Show; Freeform Schedules Valentine's Day Comedy TV Movie
    01/06 - 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards Winners; Fox Animated Comedies to Air After NFL Divisional Playoff
    01/05 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of January 6, 2020)
    01/04 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Netflix Loses Streaming Rights to Friends; Networks Prepare for Midseason
    01/03 - Fri-Yay: Top Sitcoms of the Decade, Part 1; Modern Family Heads to Paris for Episode
    01/02 - Fox Orders New Animated Comedy; Netflix Leslie Jones Comedy Special Premieres Jan. 14
    01/01 - Happy New Year! Binge on Merry Happy Whatever, A New Holiday Sitcom
    12/31 - New Year's Eve 2019 and New Year's Day 2020 TV Marathons
    12/30 - In Memoriam: Remembering the Sitcom Stars We Lost in 2019
    12/29 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of December 30, 2019)
    12/28 - SitcomsOnline Digest: The On-Going Feud Between Bill Cosby and Eddie Murphy; Writer of Friends Theme Song Dies
    12/27 - Freeform January 2020 Schedule with The Simpsons, Superstore, Family Guy; WarnerMedia and Xandr Upfront Now Combined in 2020
    12/26 - SNL with Eddie Murphy Scores in Ratings; REELZ and Alex Trebek Explore Game Shows
    12/25 - Merry Christmas from Sitcoms Online
    12/24 - 2019 Christmas Eve and Christmas Day TV Marathons & Movies
    12/23 - South Park Closes Season 23 With Bang; Zoë Kravitz Hulu Series Trailer