|Index||3 reviews in total|
Christine Taylor gave one of her most enchanting performances in this
barely-remembered sitcom. Starring as free-spirited Mary, Taylor
embraced the airhead blonde stereotype, but there were glimpses of
humanity beneath it all. Unfortunately, with only four episodes, she
never got a chance to develop it. Swoosie Kurtz showed her comedic
chops (like always) as Mary's haggard aunt, librarian Judy. The
interplay between the two actresses was fantastic, but throw in Merrin
Dungey as Judy's ass-kissing assistant, Wanda, and it was near gold.
In a supporting role as Mary's gay best friend, Derrick, was John Cameron Mitchell (who went on to write/direct/star in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"). Epitomizing the catty queen stereotype, it was obvious that Mitchell was destined for great projects. The only weak link in the show was Matt Borlenghi as Oneal, a dopey bartender who never really meshed with the rest of the characters. I can't blame Borlenghi, as it seemed that it was the was writing of his character that was the problem.
Now, about the film that this series was based on... I love Parker Posey (whose shoes Taylor filled in this incarnation) but I wasn't a huge fan of the film. Other than having the same characters/situation, the show and film had little in common. The film was extremely dark. When it was transferred to the sitcom format, it fit into a sitcom mold. It's difficult to compare the two, since they weren't very much alike.
I can't really understand why this and its companion show, "Lush Life," were the first casualties of the '96-'97 season. Both boasted big names, sharp (quotable) writing and great chemistry within the cast. It should also be noted that both series were canceled after the stars appeared on the short-lived morning show "FOX After Breakfast" (shows had a habit of being canceled mere days after their stars appeared on that talk show). Ten years later, I still find myself using quotes from this show... it deserved a better than FOX gave it.
Mary (Christine Taylor), and her friends Derrick (John Cameron
Mitchell) and Oneal (Matthew Borlenghi) are party people in NYC. She
gets arrested for charging entry fees into her illegal party. Librarian
Judy Burkhard (Swoosie Kurtz) is her godmother and her only family.
Judy dismisses her as being as irresponsible as her dead mother. She
takes up the challenge and becomes a librarian clerk to the dismay of
fellow clerk Wanda (Merrin Dungey).
I remember kind of liking this when it came out. Or else I thought Christine Taylor was hot. I don't think I ever thought it was funny. Almost twenty years later, I can safely say that it's not funny but yes, Christine was hot. This TV show is superior to the movie in only one aspect; Swoosie Kurtz. Mary's friends are not funny enough although I like Wanda. Everything is very fake in this show.
I really did like this show, but it didn't quite encapture the heart of the film. Don't get me wrong, Christine Taylor is a fine actress, but she's no Parker Posey. They have two totally different styles. The only way a TV version of this could have worked would have been to get Parker to reprise the role of Mary.
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