Picks and Pans Review: Almost Home
NBC (Saturdays, 8 p.m. ET)
In this spin-off from last year's failed sitcom The Torkelsons, Connie Ray once again plays struggling single mom Millicent Torkelson. She has moved with her three kids (Olivia Burnette, Lee Norris and Rachel Duncan) from rural Oklahoma into the home of an affluent single dad (Perry King) in Seattle to work as the nanny to his spoiled teens (Jason Marsden and Brittany Murphy). In this blended household the wholesome values of the country folk clash with the shallow materialism of the city slickers.
The problem is that the dialogue sounds distinctly like a bunch of comedy writers sitting around a table trying to top each other. As King's kids muse about their new nanny, Murphy says, "This one's imported. Straight from some hole-in-the-wall in Louisiana." "Oklahoma," Marsden corrects her. "What's the difference?" "One's a musical." Yeah, right, today's teens just can't lay off those Rodgers and Hammerstein references.
Ray and Burnette were likable actors even in the cramped, dowdy atmosphere of the original show. But the new cast additions are all awkward and overly theatrical. King's delivery is so mannered he seems to be doing a Casey Kasem imitation.
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