sons and daughters
ABC has a certified hit with their big sprawling look at an American Modern Family. But this isn't their first foray into a big family sitcom. In 2006, they aired a partially improvised comedy about a big, sprawling American family.
Sons & Daughters was barely on a month, but it sunk its talons into me and still hasn't let go. With mostly improvised dialogue, there was something very honest about the language they spoke, complete with the stammers and stutters that make up real conversation. The show was honest, heartfelt and funny. And with a massive cast, it felt like we were constantly on the verge of total chaos somewhere.
It looks like Sons & Daughters was ahead of its time, hitting the air when Americans were touting the sitcom as a dying format. Goss needed to hold out until this season, somehow. Now we're taking a hard look at the sitcom again, and finding that we do like it. It just has to be good. Sons & Daughters was good.
So here's the $64 question: Does this mean that S&D, one of my favorite shows of the season, is coming back? We don't know yet, but this Zap2It article speculates that becaue ABC Entertainment president Steve McPherson is such a big fan of the show and he's had a history of unexpected pickups (just ask everyone on Jake In Progress), it might actually happen. So, S&D fans, keep your fingers crossed.
[via Pop Candy]
(Indeed, this article from The Hollywood Reporter via AOL seems to confirm this.)
Of course, since the lovely and funny Vigman plays one of the main characters on S&D, it would appear this news signals the show's impending cancellation. Which sucks, of course: the show was just starting to hit its stride creatively. Or this could be one of those conditional signings, where she takes this job only if S&D is cancelled. But, either way, things aren't looking good, are they? Oh, well. Maybe one of the other pilots Fred Goss and Nick Holly are working on will have a better fate.
[Thanks to reader otmshank for breaking the bad news.]
Anyway, both these episodes were very funny, and the second, "The Homecoming" was unexpectedly touching, as well.
1 star to Missy: "And here we have a scene from the Desperate Housewives fragrance release party..."
2 stars to CaptnCivilian: "Terrorist leader's voice on speaker: 'Now, wire the 200 million to my Swiss account *immediately*, or we'll just find out how much MORE of Edgar's nude calisthenics you can survive!'"
3 stars to zodzilla: "Jack over the speaker phone: SONOVABITCH!!! DAMMIT LYNN AND REDSHIRT, THERE IS NO MORE TIME FOR YOUR DARTH VADER IMPRESSIONS!!"
This week we've got a couple of very cool prizes to offer you (hah, as if stars weren't enough!) The first and second place winners for this week's entry will receive a Sons & Daughters poster, signed by the cast of the show, and an ABC branded shirt! So, of course, this week's shot comes from the latest episode of the show. Good luck!
The "Hospital Visit" referenced by episode one's title occurs after some normal family strife and an argument with Cameron about her separation sends Colleen to the hospital with chest pains. So all of a sudden, people that were being driven nuts by Colleen's passive aggression -- like Sharon, maybe? -- all of a sudden talk about what a saint she was. "I mean, when we came home from school, she'd have food for us to eat, and the power was always on..." Sharon says with a straight face. But the big event is that Colleen and Wendal, who can still bring in the buxom young bartenders, get back together after he rushes to her side.
Just kidding. I really did think, though, that I'd see more of her after the strong showing she had in the first two episodes. She really hasn't had much to do in any of the four that have aired since then, which is unfortunate. In fact, most of the supporting characters get the short shrift in both these episodes, with the possible exceptions of Don and Whitey. This is a problem; as much as I like Cam and Liz, they're probably the least interesting characters in the show. It's the "How I Met Your Mother dilemma": do you stay with the boring leads that you've built the stories around or go off and explore the more interesting people in their universe? Unfortunately, S&D is staying with it's central couple right now, and it's less funny because of it.
For two guys who have never written for TV before, Fred Goss and Nick Holly are off to a fast start. Their new ABC comedy, Sons & Daughters, which airs Tuesdays at 9 ET, has been universally praised by critics (including me), and the first two episodes gave the network better ratings than it's had in that timeslot.
Goss, who also stars on the show as Cameron Walker, mostly had acting and editing credits before this project, most notably on the Bravo comedy Significant Others. Holly, believe it or not, was a literary agent who partnered with Goss to create this and other pilots. As they pitched their ideas around, demand for their services increased; an ABC executive actually pitched them the idea for this show, for instance.
There's a good reason for that, though: the show's improvisational style and realistic extended family dynamic have hit a nerve with everyone... including Arrested Development fans, of which Goss seems to be very aware. The AD issue and others came up last Friday as the two spoke to me by phone from their office in Los Angeles.
There may have been a time when the words "from Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels" were enough to get me excited about a show, but not so much anymore. Michaels is serving as executive producer for the upcoming ABC comedy Sons and Daughters from NBC Universal and Michael's Broadway Video Television. The series is being called a "hybrid comedy" meaning they took normal comedy and crossbred it with a soybean plant. Wait, sorry, actually the show will combine both scripted and improvised elements. The series will center on Cameron, played by series co-creator Fred Goss, as he deals with his second marriage, extended family, and stepchildren.
Here's the thing. I really like the idea of this show, but based on the "isn't this going to be a wacky show?" promos and paint-by-number characters (the hot chick likes bad boys but not nerds, stepchildren don't like their stepparents, etc) I'm afraid this might be just another forgettable sitcom. The concept is admirable, but even with the new approach I have the sinking feeling I've been here before.
The series premieres March 7.
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