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…

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – “How to Live with Your Parents…” and Perhaps the Longest TV Title Ever

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!!

Polly’s “Marty Kahn-like” Moment with the Camera

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…

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