Picks and Pans Review: Tom Gliatto's Fall TV Scorecard 2010

updated 09/27/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/27/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT



Fall's best new sitcom has the manic zip of Malcolm in the Middle and the diabolical humor of Raising Arizona. A dim lawn boy (Lucas Neff) becomes a dad out of wedlock to baby Princess Beyonce, rechristened Hope. The terrific cast includes Martha Plimpton as his mom, a sour realist who's done with kids.

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Melissa McCarthy and Billy Gardell star in a sweet, old-fashioned sitcom about Molly Flynn, a plus-size teacher, and her romance with plus-size cop Mike Biggs. McCarthy (Samantha Who?) is one of TV's great unsung talents: Molly could have been played as heart-wringingly vulnerable, but McCarthy seems to have empathy for everyone and everything, including Molly's bony mother (Swoosie Kurtz)-and maybe even her treadmill.

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Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw are masters of "sexpionage" as a couple who run a catering business while working for the CIA. Coproduced by J.J. Abrams, this doesn't have the stiletto kick of the CW's Nikita, but it's frothy, sexy, relaxed-a brief, all-expenses-paid vacation. If people die, that's not your worry.

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