BY TOM GLIATTO
In her first sitcom since Dharma & Greg ended in 2002, Jenna Elfman basically plays a variation on Miranda from Sex and the City: She's Alex Rose, a single New Yorker, a lawyer, trying to break out of her rigid workaholic obsessiveness and find romance. In the pilot, she unexpectedly connects with a potential legal adversary named Scott (Josh Randall), a rumpled-handsome blue-collar lug who refuses to sell his father's tavern to Alex's firm as part of a bigger development project. At the end of the episode, she rebelliously hops on the back of his motorcycle, and off they go.
Hope she enjoyed the ride, and hope she doesn't end up in the same boat as Heather Graham. Graham's new ABC sitcom about a girl looking for love, Emily's Reasons Why Not, halted production after a poorly watched debut. Poor Heather!
Elfman is the more accomplished comic actress, of course, with a reedy voice that can punctuate any given line with all kinds of swooping notes. And she looks like someone you'd expect to be Heather Locklear's personal assistant, blonde and cute and obligingly pleasant. But her chemistry with Randall wasn't special in the premiere—if she's clicking with anyone, it's Dabney Coleman as her attorney father, an ornery old dog who's happiest when snapping and harrumphing.
The show will presumably be punching up this lopsided triangle. For now, most other details feel like sitcom filler. There's Alex's neighbor: He's a puff-chested Englishman (Hugh Bonneville), a designated chewer of the fat, and meant to be adorable. It's as if someone ordered Kelsey Grammer from an online catalog, and this is what stepped out of the box. Can he be packed back in with the foam peanuts and returned?