Since sharing the sad news last week that Amber was stepping away from her regularly scheduled television reviews, I decided it was time for some laughs. So, in my first solo-Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday review, I clicked over and watched ABC’s latest sitcom—How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life).
We’ve all wondered it at least once since leaving home, whether it be for college, or marriage, or just because… what would we do if we had no choice but to move back in with our parents as an adult?
After Polly’s (Sarah Chalke from Roseanne and Scrubs) divorce, she has no choice but to move back in with her parents. But after six months, she worries she’s stuck there forever with her mother (Elaine, played by Elizabeth Perkins from Big and Weeds) and her step-father (Max, played by Brad Garrett from Everybody Loves Raymond). To make matters worse, she’s plagued by the ex-husband who just won’t go away (of course).
This sitcom really has a sweet family dynamic—everyone wants to be there for each other, regardless of “how” they express their love and support. For example, the granddaughter is scared of dogs… so her grandparents take her to a dog shelter to help her face her fears. In retrospect, this may not have been the best method, but their hearts are in the right place. Bottom line, everyone in the family makes each other a better person (even where the ex-husband is concerned).
But mostly the show is about Polly (Chalke) and her growth post-divorce. Since leaving her husband, she’s projected most of her fears onto her daughter… to make herself feel better. Her daughter isn’t really scared of dogs; Polly is. Her daughter isn’t afraid to sleep alone; Polly is. And her daughter doesn’t mind if Polly wants to date other men; Polly is scared to date other men. And as bizarre and as quirky and as “not normal” as Polly’s parents are, they’re giving her the freedom to figure all of this out on her own… which, as we all know, is the only way to learn.
Besides having the longest TV title EVER, did the new comedy make me laugh-out-loud? Because as we’ve established previously in other reviews, this is an absolute must for television sitcoms as far as I’m concerned…
Well, the casting is great. Sarah Chalke is adorable and has great comedic timing, especially with her facial expressions and her “Marty Kahn-like” moments with the audience when she looks directly into the camera (random example I know, but the out-of-character-camera-moments with the audience is the exact same as Marty Kahn’s character from Showtime’s House of Lies AND I love ’em). And speaking of adorable, that little Rachel Eggleston (Natalie, Polly’s daughter) is absolutely precious!!
And then we have Elizabeth Perkins and Brad Garrett…
Elizabeth Perkins’s character (Elaine, Polly’s mother) is honest, uncensored, and unfiltered. She’s full of love and lives carefree… and Perkins nails it. As expected, Brad Garrett’s character (Max, Polly’s stepfather) has Mr. Garrett’s dry tone and hilarious delivery… enough said, right? Together, these two steal the show.
But is HTLWYPFTROYL laugh-out-loud funny? Eh… more so than 1600 Penn, for sure. But not as much as New Girl. I did smile a lot; therefore I’m awarding this sitcom with the SSTV rating for now. I will definitely watch it again and I have a feeling the laughter will come.
What do you think? Have you watched How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)? I’d love to hear from you!
Come back next week when I take on another new show… one that I’ve been anxiously awaiting since I heard of the project’s development… NBC’s Hannibal.
Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.
A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:
GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV):It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (NyQuil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech
Inedible TV: Exactly how it sounds…