"Jyaassh! Omigaahhd! What are you doing heah?" That's how Fran Reeves (Fran Drescher) greets her son Josh (Ben Feldman) when he makes his entrance in this sitcom's April 8 debut.
Enough said, really. Some find Drescher's Noo Yawk nasality hilarious in itself. Some think Lifetime's seven daily reruns of The Nanny simply aren't enough. These folks need only to hear that Drescher is back and they'll be there with bells on. For those who regard Drescher's voice as an instrument of torture, the alternative in this time period is Stone Phillips's diction on Dateline.
Even if your ears aren't sensitive, you may wince at Living with Fran's lack of subtlety. Soon after Josh comes through the door, he reveals that he was just kicked out of medical school because he snapped under pressure and "chased a smart-ass male nurse with a bone saw." In the second episode (airing at 9:30 on premiere night), Josh's teen sister Allison (Misti Traya) reminds us that he was expelled for "attacking a male nurse with a bone saw." My, how the writers love that image.
It doesn't improve Josh's delicate mental condition when he finds out that the divorced Fran is now cohabiting with Riley (Ryan McPartlin), a strapping contractor barely older than her son. Why didn't she clue Josh in before? For the same reason Riley doesn't inform his parents (the second episode guest-stars Marilu Henner and John Schneider) that his sweetheart has some years on him until they pop over to Fran's house for dinner. This is a show firmly rooted in sitcom world, where potentially troublesome truths are invariably withheld until they're certain to cause maximum consternation.
Fran proclaims that she's at her sexual peak, and Riley praises her perfect derriere. There's a note of affirmation here for women who've been on earth longer than the average WB viewer. That's one thing to applaud, anyway.