Are you interested in the finer points of How to Live With Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life)?
ABC’s newest comedy, which debuted Wednesday at 9:30/8:30c, stars Scrubs alum Sarah Chalke as Polly, a neurotic, newly single mother who rounds up daughter Natalie (Rachel Eggleston) and decamps to her childhood home in the wake of her divorce.
“I’m not a failure; I’m trendy,” she tells us via voiceover six months after begging her no-filter mother Elaine (played by Weeds‘ Elizabeth Perkins) and laid-back stepfather Max (Everybody Loves Raymond‘s Brad Garrett) to take her in. But that chipper, Type-A outlook hides something a bit darker: Polly resents her anything-goes childhood and vows not to repeat Elaine’s mistakes, even if that means giving Natalie so much structure (which Polly lovingly calls “attachment parenting”) that there’s not much room left for spontaneity.
The clash in child-rearing styles reaches its zenith when Polly goes out on her first post-divorce date (thanks to a little nudge from her juice-bar co-worker Jenn, played by Stephanie Hunt, Friday Night Lights). Elaine and Max – the kind of swinging seniors who are prone to make love whenever (and wherever) the spirit moves them and swill tequila in the afternoon – can’t understand why Polly’s so uptight about things like an emergency phone list and Natalie’s bedtime routine.
When both Polly’s evening and the inaugural babysitting session run off the rails, Natalie’s doofy dad Julian (John Dore) shows up to help his ex put things back into order. Julian’s got a good heart but zero financial common sense; the show makes it clear that although they’ve split, he and Polly still share a real emotional connection. After only six months after the divorce, though, you think there’d be a wee bit more tension between them.
The jokes lean heavily on Elaine’s storied sexual past (which includes bedding a Chicago Bulls player, though she can’t remember which) and on the testicle Max had to have removed (which Elaine claims led to his possessive nature), but the quirkily heartwarming show feels a good fit for ABC’s Wednesday-night line-up.
That’s what we think, but what’s your take? Grade How To Live With Your Parents via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!Follow @kimroots