Couple of housekeeping things first: Today's column is a reader mailbag with comments on recent topics like Conan to TBS, the sideways universe on "Lost" and the uninspiring "American Idol" cast. And this morning, AMC announced that "Mad Men" season 4 would debut on Sunday, July 25 at 10 p.m. (and that the James Badge Dale-starring thriller "Rubicon" would debut the following Sunday with a two-hour premiere at 8, then air regularly at 9 from then on). So exciting stuff for mid-summer.
Meanwhile, last night saw the premiere of the Alyssa Milano sitcom "Romantically Challenged" on ABC. ABC played a weird game of Hide the Cookie with this one, where they posted a few episodes for review to their press site, then kept changing their minds about which episodes would air first (not a good sign), and then ultimately pulled the episodes that were on the media website (also not a good sign; the TV equivalent of not previewing your movie for critics because you know the reviews will be brutal). And since I was off the last two weeks (and not making an exception to preview Alyssa Milano's new show), I missed seeing the ones that were up and had to watch last night's premiere live (give or take some DVR buffering), and...
... well, I'm glad I hadn't devoted an hour of my life in the last week or two (vacation or not) to watching this. I have no issues with Milano (other than that she once dated Carl Pavano, one of my least favorite Yankees ever), I like co-star Kyle Bornheimer, and I liked parts of creator Ricky Blitt's last show, Fox's short-lived "The Winner" with Rob Corddry. But everyone involved seemed to be trying way too hard (witness the forced smile on Milano's face in the picture above, which she tried to maintain for nearly the whole episode, whether the moment needed it or not), and overall it felt like an example of the set-up/joke/set-up/joke style that's deservedly close to extinction.
I've seen far worse comedies this season ("Brothers," to name one), but this is one I won't be bothering with again, no matter what order ABC shows them in.
Anybody else watch? If so, what did you think?