Review of "Malibu Country" on ABC From The TV MegaSite

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Malibu Country case

"Malibu Country" review by Danielle
Friday 8:30/7:30c on ABC

Malibu Country is a new sitcom on ABC and the second attempt at headlining a TV sitcom by country music legend Reba McEntire. The first, “Reba” (title changed after Reba was cast), lasted six seasons between the WB and the CW networks. That show has been greatly compared to this new show as the premise of a wife and mother finding out that her husband has been cheating and thus choosing to leave him is the same. The main difference in Malibu Country is that instead of Reba being a housewife forced to go back to work while living down the street from her ex-husband, she uproots her two teenage children from Nashville and moves them and her mother to the Malibu beach house the husband had secretly kept for his affairs.

The back story is that Reba and her ex-husband (played by Jeffrey Nordling) were both country music artists but Reba chose to put her career on hold to stay home with their children. The divorce and the move to Malibu are Reba Gallagher’s first steps to restarting her own music career.

The teens, Cash (Justin Prentice) and June (Juliette Angelo), face predictable teen humor scenarios. Cash is very vain and wants to move back to Nashville because he’s no longer the best looking guy at school. June develops a relationship with the neighbor’s son but they try to get away with it by claiming the boy is gay. While the “Reba” show had Barbara Jean to serve as the quirky neighbor who wants to befriend Reba, Malibu Country has Kim (played by Sara Rue). The only difference there is that Kim wasn’t the woman Reba’s ex-husband cheated with so there’s no added friction and exchange of biting one liner insults. With the attempt to restart her music career, Reba meets a record label head’s overly flamboyant assistant Geoffrey played by Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’s Jai Rodriquez. When he cautions Reba that without being young and sexy, she lacks the hook an artist needs in today's music business, it inspires Reba to write and record a song about becoming “TheNew Me” now that she’s no longer the unsuspecting wife of a cheating spouse. Since the plot line features music, Reba McEntire and the show plan to release via iTunes the original songs used on the show.

While Reba has the chops for sitcom acting, the writingfailed to utilize her talents. The addition of comedy legend Lily Tomlin asReba’s mom Lillie Mae proves that the show crew struck gold in the castingdepartment. Lillie Mae had the bulk of the witty comebacks and was hilarious in her scenes portraying the effects of a California doctor’s ready willingness to prescribe marijuana lollipops, or as Lillie Mae calls them, “happy lollys.”

Here’s hoping that as the characters move on from such a sad change in their lives and new relationships are developed, this sitcom's situations become more comical.

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Page updated 11/4/12

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