Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'I Hate My Teenage Daughter'
[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots.]
Show: "I Hate My Teenage Daughter"
The Pitch: "Wouldn't it be crazy if a mother hated her teenage daughter?" "Yes. That would be crazy." "Do you know what would be crazier than that?" "Ummm... I'm still overwhelmed by the initial craziness." "TWO mothers who BOTH hate their teenage daughters." "ZOMG. I'm speechless with my desire to give you money to realize this vision."
Quick Response: The entire premise/joke of the show -- 100% of it -- is delivered in the opening 30 seconds, when two women discuss these awful bitches they hate and then those bitches turn out to be... THEIR DAUGHTERS. And that's all there is. For the next 20 minutes, the mothers (Katie Finneran, Jaime Pressly) are shrill and abusive to their daughters and the daughters (Kristi Lauren, Aisha Dee) are shrill and abusive to their mothers. There's no real nuance or creativity to the abuse. It's a lot of unappealing people calling each other "bitch" and "whore." And this isn't one of those shows like "Raising Hope" where you start off saying, "There's no way on Earth these people should be allowed to keep a child" and by the end, you're all "Oh. I get it. They all have love and that's a worthy replacement for common sense, at least in TV-Land." No. The moms are horrible people who shouldn't be allowed to raise children and the daughters are horrible people who actually are deserving of all of the nastiness heaped upon them. Neither daughter has a personality and while Pressly and Finneran's characters are different, they're just different shades of noxious. I don't know what the takeaway is supposed to be, since I detested these people from the beginning and never wavered in my resolve. There was never the twist to indicate that anybody was learning anything from any of this ugliness. Oh and none of it was funny. That's probably a bigger deal than some of that other "I didn't see any life lessons" nonsense. I didn't see any funny. And it's really sad, too, because Pressly has razor-sharp comic timing and Finneran's a freakin' Tony winner. These are not bad actresses. These are not actresses who are incapable of delivering the goods in a multi-cam sitcom. This sure isn't the vehicle. Or maybe the problem is just that I don't have a teenage daughter who I hate. Yeah. Let's say that's what it is.
Desire To Watch Again: Part of me figures that this is a show that may be heading for some tweaking and reworking before it premieres, that FOX couldn't really believe this is a show that will find an audience in its current form. And that part of me wants to see if improvement is possible. I also want to support Chad Coleman (Cutty from "The Wire"). Ultimately, the best thing about "I Hate My Teenage Daughter" is that it's not the worst comedy to get picked up by major network for the 2011-2012 season. Kudos!
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'The Secret Circle'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'Unforgettable'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'The Playboy Club'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: ABC's 'Charlie's Angels'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: NBC's 'Grimm'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: FOX's 'New Girl'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'Hart of Dixie'
Take Me To The Pilots ' 11: ABC's 'Apartment 23'
Take Me To The Pilots '11: CBS' 'A Gifted Man'
All of last year's Take Me To The Pilots installments.