With her life at a crossroads, 25 year old Sophie Conway returns home to the small town she always wanted to forget. Once home, she is faced with the friends and lovers she left behind, a tangled relationship with her Mother, and Harry Pleasant, an Alzheimer's Disease patient who, in an opposing way, shares Sophie's struggle to remember.
Ok, it DOES seem like 'Oliver Beene' is 'Malcolm' meets 'The Wonder Years', but so what? In a world of scarily crappy reality shows, and 50+ years of TV history, isn't better to venture 2 GOOD TV shows, rather than extend ideas from bad ones?
I agree that this show will probably be canned shortly, only because producers don't give shows enough of a chance to improve ratings anymore. I loved Family Guy, and wish it was still on, but it is like the original Star Trek was 35 years ago: a mass cult following formed, but not enough of an overall appeal, like American Idol (joy).
Comedies are a dying breed outside of FOX. CBS focuses on dramas, ABC invokes reality shows and 'family comedies' (which is producer slang for targeted middle-aged audience). WB wants the teenagers, and NBC rounds up the 'intellectual 18-29 who live in New York' (Is Fraiser even funny anymore, or was it REALLY EVER? I mean if you're gonna spin-off Cheers, get George Wendt or John Ratzenberger, not Fraiser Crane). Friends is still funny, but not fresh. And their 'target' audience is not ethnic, so we don't see any NBC leading roles filled by etnicity, only supporting. What happened to Cosby, Fresh Prince, Different World?
Is UPN still even a prime-time station??
But at least FOX, albeit focusing on the dyfunctional slice-of-life, has funny comedies. The Simpsons. Malcolm. That 70's Show. Bernie Mac. King Of The Hill. Family Guy (defunct). Futurama (soon-to-be defunct). Oliver Beene.
And hey, we'd be able to give all these new shows half a fighting chance if they weren't being filled with reality shows (which producers LOVE because they're short, and by now, a guaranteed lock in viewership) like Married By America (the most degrading yet) or until Mr. Personality airs. One day, reality shows will be so ugly, we'll see a televised version of Russian Roulette. I swear we will.
And while Grant Rosenmeyer is no Frankie Muniz, he tries to be real. After all, we all can't be scary bullsh*t like V.I.C.I. in Small Wonder can we?
So to sum up, Oliver Beene is cool. Cherish it now, because you might miss it when it's gone, kinda like Family Guy. And for whoever earlier said Family Guy is much better than The Simpsons, he obviously haven't seen more than 2 episodes. Simpsons still rule.
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