Rita Rocks season two -- An early look
by Kona Gallagher, posted Oct 5th 2009 10:25AM
Rita Rocks is premiering its second season on Lifetime tonight, along with Sherri Shepherd's new sitcom, Sherri. For those of you who haven't seen the show before, Rita stars Mad TV's Nicole Sullivan, who plays Rita, a suburban mom of two daughters who plays in a rock band on the side. Rounding out her garage band are her friends Owen (Ian Gomez), Patty (Tisha Campbell-Martin) and Kip (Ricky Ullman), Rita's daughter Hallie's (Natalie Dreyfuss) boyfriend.
The second-season premiere doesn't really focus on Rita's music so much. While we do still see her at practice, she's mainly dealing with mom stuff, specifically in relation to Hallie, her oldest daughter. In fact, what we have is a perennial family-sitcom classic-- the parent having to give the child "The Talk."
What's interesting about this sitcom, as opposed to many of the ones I grew up with, is that when Rita is faced with the prospect of her seventeen-year-old daughter having sex, there is, of course, talk about waiting until she's ready and the time is right, but she also has a very realistic perspective: Her daughter is seventeen, she is in a serious relationship, and odds are, she is going to have sex. Instead of pretending that Hallie is going to wait until marriage, Rita takes her to her first gynecologist appointment and gets her on birth control, telling Hallie that she can't rely on the guy to use protection-- that she has to be responsible for her own body.
Babies are definitely the theme of this episode, and will continue to be throughout the season, as someone finds out she is pregnant. It is definitely an unexpected pregnancy that is going to change parts of the show. Rita is only in its second season, so it seems a little early to be bringing a baby in to liven things up, but hopefully they'll be able to get some good stories out of it beyond jokes about morning sickness and stretch marks.
Rita Rocks' second season is definitely shaping up to be a by-the-numbers family sitcom, complete with big facial expressions and a laugh track. However, it seems as though it's going to deal with an updated set of issues in a relatively realistic way, which puts it a step above at least 70% of the other family sitcoms on the air.