Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Misguided Is Exactly Right

I just finished watching a sneak peak of ABC's new comedy Miss/Guided. It's produced by Ashton Kutcher (which by the way, what show isn't these days?) and stars Judy Greer (Arrested Development, Love Monkey) as a good intentioned but utterly clueless guidance counselor Becky Freeley.

Becky returns to her old high school to espouse her wisdom and experience on the next generation. The show uses talking head interviews and flashbacks to tell the story of Becky's nerdy existence. From her egregious orthodontia, constant stumbling and poor fashion sense, her dorkiness is on the border between endearing and over the top.

The show's conflicts arise from her former high school rival (cue pretty popular girl) getting a job at the school and she falls for Becky's crush, another teacher. Luckily the story has infinite storylines in Becky's students and the rest of the hapless staff, including the Vice Principal (Chris Parnell of SNL fame).

But something about it didn't work. It was charming, but not very funny. It felt like it was trying to tap into the sensibilities of other comedies but missing the good stuff. Becky's pure heart but poor execution reminded me of Michael Scott, but she was amazingly more out of it than he is. It had the documentary feel of Arrested Development, but without the rest of production conventions the flashbacks and interviews seemed out of place.

Since this wasn't the series premiere but rather a sneak peak, I am not giving up hope. Like its main character, the show has great intentions and with a little fine tuning it could be all right (think early Malcolm In The Middle). But know that in the first 5 minutes of the show, I thought I was watching Fox (think late Malcolm In The Middle).

Apparently the series premieres on Thursday at 8/7C with a guest appearance by none other than Ashton Kutcher. Hopefully his star power will warrant a better showing.