Saturday, April 14, 2007

Notes from the Underbelly: first thoughts

After a mini-marathon of The Shield (season one) last night, I was searching the DVR for something a little less intense. I decided to give Notes from the Underbelly a try, despite its almost universally bad reviews. I was, afterall, the only one in the country who enjoyed and laughed at Heather Graham's far-too-short-lived Emily's Reasons Why Not.

I laughed out loud three times before the opening credits of Notes from the Underbelly. The two episodes were so good I saved them to watch again with nomadreaderboy. The show is smart and funny. It's not set-up like a sitcom: the action doesn't stop when the viewer laughs. It's a dryer, smarter humor, very much in the style of Tina Fey. The cast includes Jennifer Westfeldt, co-writer and star of Kissing Jessica Stein (fantastic film); Peter Cambor, who was a Tom Cavanaugh-esque quality to him (that's a big compliment: I loved both Ed and the far-too-short-lived Love Monkey); Michael Weaver, who's guest starred on multiple Law & Order series, so he must have some acting chops; Rachael Harris, who's been funny in everything; and Sunkrish Bala, who played that one night stand of Meredith on Grey's Anatomy deftly, plus he's funny. It's a strong cast, and despite being billed as the comedy about pregnancy, it's not. Two of the main characters are pregnant, but it's a show about five friends. It's not gimmicky; it's just funny.

This show has staying power, if it can find the ratings. Naturally, ABC is choosing Wednesday at 8:30 for this gem. There are already three shows I enjoy in that time slot! Please, ABC, find a good spot for a good comedy. In week two, the show will already be in its second timeslot. Find it a good home.

If you liked Mean Girls, or you like 30 Rock, watch Notes from the Underbelly. You may even catch up by watching it online .

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