Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – From a Straight Up Mess to Prophet… NBC’s Save Me

The summer shows have started, some of them anyway.  And while we still have quite a few to premiere over the next month or so, I did catch a new NBC sitcom that aired two episodes this past week: Save Me.

We’ve heard the stories… someone suffers a near-death experience, prompting a change in his or her outlook on life.  This change is not always a bad thing; sometimes it is absolutely necessary to save one’s soul, but it’s also not always an easy adjustment for those around us and accustomed to our old ways.

This is the premise behind NBC’s Save Me

Save Me follows Beth Harper (Anne Heche, Hung), the matriarch of a run-of-the-mill Midwestern family…. or are they?

After Beth nearly chokes to death on a sandwich, she claims she now has a direct line of communication with God (she’s not very religious, so she usually refers to God as “He/She”).  Obviously, she can’t control when God speaks to her; however, Beth chooses to have her one-on-one time with “He/She” while sitting on the porcelain throne.  Why not, it’s a perfect time to think… right?  Anyway, now believing to be a prophet, she’s set on making right with all those she has wronged and even begins to convince her worst critics that she has changed for the better.

The new sitcom also stars: Michael Landes (Final Destination 2) as Tom, Beth’s philandering husband; Alexandra Breckenridge (American Horror Story) as Carly, one of Tom’s “side projects”; Heather Burns (Miss Congeniality) as Jenna, one of Beth’s neighbors; and Madison Davenport (Shameless) as Emily, Beth’s daughter.

This sitcom really does have a sweet family dynamic.  Despite the fact that Tom is cheating on Beth and their marriage is practically over at the beginning of the show, the two stick together for the sake of their teenage daughter.  He may be unfaithful, but it’s also obvious he loves Beth.  And with her new “trick,” he’s beginning to remember why he fell in love with her in the first place.

And then there’s Beth… man, was she a mess prior to her choking on that hero.  She was no angel, to say the least, but in those few minutes when her heart stopped beating, she found something enlightening and decided to better herself—she wants to save her marriage, she wants to be a better mother (and this relationship could really use some work), and she wants to be a better friend.

By now, you know my rules when it comes to comedy—sitcoms must make me laugh out loud.  I can usually tell after one episode if a thirty-minute show will find a permanent place on my DVR queue; but if not, watching two episodes is definitely enough.  After the two episodes of Save Me, I’m not completely sold… but Anne Heche is very entertaining as Beth.  Plus, the message of the show really is sweet.  Deep down, anyway… some of it is a bit raunchy.

So for now, I’m awarding Save Me with the JFTV rating.  This sitcom is kinda like our favorite bag of potato chips—we know eating one right after the other is not at all good for our health, but the flavor bursts (and the salt) keep us coming back for more.

Did you watch Save Me?  Do you plan to?  I’d love to hear from you!

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss today’s review, 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…

Tele-Tuesday: The Return of the Two Hour TV Mystery

A few years ago, the Hallmark Channel aired a new two-hour TV Mystery Movie every Friday night.  These programs were very entertaining and mystifying, and created character adoration with audiences that lasted a couple of seasons each before suddenly stopping.

These mysteries include…

Mystery Woman

Mystery Woman stars Kellie Martin as Samantha Kinsey, the young Nancy Drew-like sleuth who inherits an old-fashioned book store.  Samantha’s book store assistant who has a background as a government secret agent (played by Clarence Williams III), and her best friend who also happens to be the assistant district attorney, help her drive the town’s chief of police crazy by sticking their noses in cases where they clearly don’t belong as civilians.

McBride

McBride stars John Larroquette as M. “Mac” McBride, a former detective turned defense attorney who works with an over-zealous young assistant and his adorable dog.  McBride takes cases that no one else will, and the police and his ex-girlfriend/lead detective (Marta DuBois) laugh at his chances in court, despite his win/loss record.

Jane Doe

Jane Doe stars Lea Thompson as Cathy Davis, a stay-at-home puzzle maker and mom who can’t stay away from her days at the Central Security Agency, especially when her old partner (Joe Penny) returns repeatedly asking for her to step aboard in a consulting role.

Murder 101

Murder 101 stars the great Dick Van Dyke as Dr. Jonathan Maxwell, an expert criminology professor at the local university who assists the local police solve numerous crimes with his down-on-his-luck nephew (Barry Van Dyke), a former detective turned private investigator.

While we mourn and remember these television mysteries, now we can look forward to the return of the two-hour TV mystery as TNT brings us Mystery Movie Night with a new story each week (sometimes two) until the end of the year, starting tonight.

November 29thScott Turow’s Innocent stars Bill Pullman as a judge suspected of killing his wife decades after he was charged and cleared of killing his mistress…also starring Richard Schiff, Alfred Molina, and Marcia Gay Harden.

November 30thRicochet, based on the novel by Sandra Brown, stars John Corbett as a detective who finds himself in a sticky situation while investigating a judge, having an affair with the judge’s wife, and investigating a murder…also starring Gary Cole and Julie Benz.

Meeting Sandra Brown at DFWcon 2011

December 6thHide, based on the novel by Lisa Gardner, stars Carla Gugino as a police detective investigating the mummified remains of six murder victims…also starring Bridget Regan, Kevin Alejandro, and Mark-Paul Gosselaar.

December 7thSilent Witness, based on the novel by Richard North Patterson, stars Dermot Mulroney as a defense attorney, once accused of murder himself, defending his long-time friend for the murder of one of his students…also starring Michael Cudlitz, Anne Heche, and Judd Hirsch.

December 13thGood Morning, Killer, based on the novel by April Smith, stars Catherine Bell as a FBI agent working undercover as she tracks a serial killer…also starring Cole Hauser and William Devane.

December 20thDeck the Halls, based on the novel by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark, stars Kathy Najimy as a former maid turned private investigator working with her detective friend as they search for two missing persons hoping to solve the case before the holidays…also starring Scottie Thompson.

Set the DVRs now!  Which of these new TNT mystery movies are you most looking forward to?

Did you watch the Hallmark Channel Mystery Wheel?  Which story did you enjoy the most?   Which of your favorite mystery novels would you like to see adapted to the small screen?  I’d love to hear from you!

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