When a new comedy shows up as fresh, original and painfully hilarious as Sons & Daughters (Tuesdays at 9 pm/ET on ABC) at first I want to cheer. And then I start to worry if it can survive. Call it Arrested Development syndrome.
ABC is calling this partially improvised, very offbeat series about a messily extended multigenerational family a “unique hybrid.” Not exactly the next According to Jim, if you get my drift. But unlike Arrested, which turned off so many by constantly going over the top, Sons & Daughters is defiantly low-concept, mining laughs of recognition from the cringe-inducing small embarrassments, annoyances and resentments that define long-term, inescapable family relationships.
As humane and wise as it is amusing a
A coworker of mine called me over to her desk the other day and, not knowing that I cover The Comeback for Watercooler, asked me if I'd ever seen the show. I said, "Umm, yes," and before I told her more, she showed me footage of one of our New York producers asking actress Dee Wallace Stone a question at a recent event (Dee is costarring in an upcoming ABC show and was promoting it). My coworker said, "Doesn't she remind you of Lisa Kudrow's Valerie Cherish character? She just seems so desperate to make a comeback — you can see it in her eyes." Our New York producer said to Stone: "Remind me what you've been in before, because you look familiar." Stone replied, with a huge smile: "I was the mother in E.T." Such a Valerie ("I was the star of I'm It!") moment.
Some great Valerie moments from tonight's episode included her getting angry that her tag at the end of the show was squished while the closing credits rolled and a NASCAR bug sat the bottom o