Who else caught this show last night? If you didn’t, you made a mistake in my opinion. First off, Lauren Graham returns to TV, how could that be a bad thing? Second, she does not come off as Lorelai 2.0 as some had feared (or at least discussed).
The show is sort of like a more dramatic Modern Family. It follows four siblings in their grown up lives. Sarah is a divorced mother of two whose ex-husband is a druggie, daughter is a smoker, and son who wants to live with his dad. And she has to move back home because she has no money. Adam, the brother who seems to be there for everyone else, is shocked when he discovers that his son has Aspergers (and his daughter winds up at jail for smoking weed in an attempt to be cool). Julia (Erika Christianson) is the workaholic lawyer who finds it hard to connect with her young daughter who openly prefers her stay at home dad to cut her meet, sing her songs, etc. Lastly, there’s Crosby who is afraid of commitment but gets engaged to his girlfriend when he sees her taking steps to have a baby without him (sperm in the freezer). He also discovers that he has a son he never knew about.
Some of the stories come across better than others but considering how early on in the show it is, it’s hard to really say which one will be best by the end. (The Aspergers story is based on real experience so that will definitely have a personal touch throughout.) Erika Christiansen isn’t particularly exciting so far but she seems sweet and I don’t have any big complaints. To me, Lauren Graham keeps impressing me. Sarah comes across as someone very different than Lorelai (though on occasion we do get a throwback to Gilmore Girls feeling–it doesn’t help that she plays a single mother yet again). I’m impressed by how different she has made this character and I think it shows that she has more range than I, and other people, thought.
The toughest thing about the show is that there is so much going on. That happens when each character has a spouse (or ex or fiance), kids, their parents, etc. It’s a big cast and everyone has something going on. I would have liked to see a little more about Drew so we could have related more to his situation (running away to stay with his father but finding out that his father didn’t want him: “it wasn’t a good time”).
I don’t know how much the show has changed because of the cast change (Maura Tierney of ER and Newradio had to pull out for cancer treatment and was replaced by Graham) but they’ve said it is funnier and not as dark. The newer tone is closer to the old tone of the movies that it is adapted from. It would be extremely interesting to see the pilot with Maura Tierney to see how different it is. Overall, I really enjoyed it and I hope it stays on the air.