Courting Dharma

Jenna Elfman’s sitcom Dharma and Greg was a show built around an unlikely love match – a straitlaced work-centered lawyer and a free spirit with a broad history of employment are drawn together.

Jenna Elfman’s sitcom Courting Alex is a show built around an unlikely love match – a straitlaced work-centered lawyer and a free spirit with a broad history of employment are drawn together.

What’s the difference? This time, she plays Greg. Well, Alex. Greg was likable, despite his job, while Alex is only beginning to realize that there should be something more in life than just being a lawyer. We don’t have much reason to like for her or root for her.

And root for her we must, because this shows the signs of being Generic Sitcom #3: the couple who you know are going to end up together but spend their time going out but not committing, breaking up but wanting to be back together, likely one of them heading over to the house of the other to try to mend things only to see the Wonderful New Person In Their Life through the window. Every TV couple is Ross and Rachel, you see. It’s one of the many things that is killing Joey; it’s also one of the things that Dharma & Greg famously avoided from marrying off its characters in episode 1.)

Elfman, a talented comedienne, is not great as the lawyer, and if there’s a chemistry problem it’s not so much within the romantic couple as it is between Elfman and sitcom veteran Dabney Coleman (hey, could someone please put The Slap Maxwell Story on DVD?), who plays her dad.

The biggest problem with the pilot was that it was all dry set-up, all scenes more calculated to let you know who they key characters and supporting cast are than it was calculated to amuse. So there’s a chance that things will flow better once they get past the expository. I’ll probably check out a couple more; with the instant cancellation of Emily’s Reasons Why Not, I suspect we won’t see a half-hour right against it for a while. But I don’t have high hopes for it.

Published in: on January 24, 2006 at 7:28 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. This has absolutely nothing to do with Courting Alex, but since this entry was titled “Courting Dharma” and the article I’m about to refer to mentions “The Dharma Initiative” I figured this’d be as good a place as anywhere to put it…

    An article in today’s (sunday, Jan 29) Philadelphia Inquirer about Lost

    Island of intrigue
    By David Hiltbrand, Inquirer Staff Writer

    The article presents a few, well, not so much spoilers, but plausible speculations surrounding the mysteries of the island—and some other miscellaneous tidbits and trivia. Just thought some folks who cruise through here might be interested.

    (NOTE: As far as I know, Inquirer articles are still only available online via free registration and for just one week from the date of publication.)

    Oh yeah, BTW, speaking of Lost… I hope I wasn’t the only one who caught the obvious Lost reference in Veronica Mars this past week. Not sure what the significance of it was beyond just the fun of throwing in the reference to a popular show and thereby making folks wonder about the significance of the reference… (Help! I’m gettin’ dizzy from the circular logic!)

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