One Big Happy: Does NBC's New Modern Family Pop?

One Big Happy features Elisha Cuthbert’s (Happy Endings) welcome return to the small screen alongside the always-charming Nick Zano in his first series regular role since The WB’s What I Like About You. But is the show itself the right fit for this frustratingly good-looking, rib-tickling duo?

In the premiere episode, which aired Tuesday, we meet perpetually single BFFs Luke (Zano) and Lizzy (Cuthbert), a carefree bowling alley owner and his lesbian roommate who have decided to start a family. Their plan is no sooner interrupted when the free-spirited Prudence (Kelly Brook, Piranha 3D) walks into Luke’s life and literally sweeps him off his feet.

Luke almost immediately pledges his love to Prudence, much to Lizzy’s dismay, who is worried that the buxom brit will throw their baby-making plan off-track. Despite this, Luke agrees to marry his short-term lover after she warns him that she’s facing deportation, and the two run off to Vegas. When they return home to tell Lizzy the “good news,” she surprises them with her own: after a string of failed attempts, she and Luke are finally pregnant.

Lizzy initially scoffs at the idea that Prudence is in love with Luke, taking her for a “green card slut.” Moments later, Luke proclaims he isn’t sure he would’ve married Prudence had he known that Lizzy was pregnant, causing his blushing bride to storm out in utter embarrassment. Later that night, the newlyweds get drunk and decide they’d be better off parting ways, but when Lizzy sees how heartbroken this leaves her baby daddy, she runs after Prudence and begs her to stay with them in America. She accepts Lizzy’s offer and the atypical threesome become one big happy… well, you get where this is going.

The Peacock’s latest comedy pilot doesn’t offer much in lieu of laugh-out-loud moments, but the Ellen Degeneres-produced sitcom has the potential to become a perfectly decent Undateable companion piece. Brook exudes a bright and bubbly screen presence, and anyone who has seen Alex Kerkovich chow down on a slab of ribs knows Cuthbert is capable of so much more when she isn’t forced to play the straight man. Hopefully the show will do right by its cast and find its groove in subsequent episodes.

Now it’s your turn: What’s your take on NBC’s unconventional rom-com? Will you be another branch on One Big Happy‘s family tree? Vote in our poll, then sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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45 Comments
  1. Patrick says:

    I liked it. There is a lot of potential here. Eliza can take neurotic to a brand new level, and Brook has some zany potential.

    • rowan77 says:

      I did too. It felt a little forced- but that happens in multi-cam pilots where everyone seems to be pushing a little too hard with the energy. Hopefully they’ll settle down within a few episodes. And while we all knew what the big twist would be near the end, it still worked. I’ll watch for a few more weeks and see how this pans out.

  2. LADY_in_MD says:

    It was cute some parts weren’t that funny but I’ll give it another try next week

  3. Al says:

    Wow now we know why NBC is known as nothing but crap

  4. Ray says:

    Hey NBC, the 90s called. They want their sitcoms back.

  5. Fred says:

    One Big Waste of Time

  6. Steven says:

    It was a waste of potential. I’m hoping Happy Endings comes back like the producers have been hinting at.

  7. Tran says:

    I give it an F. Elisha Cuthbert was so funny during her amazing run on Happy Endings and Nick Zano was great during his guest starring stint on 2 Broke Girls co-starring his now ex-girlfriend Kat Dennings. I have a feeling that One Big Happy won’t last long. Maybe they should change the title to ONE BIG FAILURE. LOL

  8. analog says:

    So this is basically a season 5 plotline of Will & Grace.

  9. King says:

    I thought it was hilarious! I love seeing Elisha and Nick on TV again.

  10. Tom says:

    It wasn’t horrible. It wasn’t fantastic. Cuthbert’s character could be a little more likable. There were glimmers. But hey, it’s better than Manhattan Love Story, so there’s that.

    And yes, I know that was a different network, just saying that show was bad

  11. Bwhit says:

    I actually liked it and thought the character of Prudence was funny. I found it refreshing for an NBC comedy.

  12. James D says:

    will definitely give it a couple episodes. I didn’t laugh at all the punch lines but I did laugh enough to see where it goes. Kelly Brook was easily the best part had no idea she had such good comedic timing.

  13. John says:

    I didn’t care for the supporting characters at all. It was ok, I’ll keep watching. I like Elisha and Nick

  14. Walter Freeman says:

    Only NBC would be clever enough to premiere a mid-season sitcom on St. Patrick’s Day. I’d put the over under on cancelation at 3.5 episodes.

  15. James Jeong says:

    It was not that bad. I like the decision of NBC putting Multi cam sitcoms behind The Voice.

  16. Et al says:

    They passed on Kimmy Schmidt and went with this? I’m going to be nice and send Robert Greenblatt a link to the southern California want ads.

    • Television Scout says:

      Wanted: ex TV programming chief with no experience to wash dishes and wait tables at the local country club. Chance for candidate to meet high brow people with lots of media connections who are equally lacking in talent.

      Please send resume to theCW Personel Dept. They may also be looking for some programming help after renewing their entire 2014-`15 lineup (sans HoD). Never has a 0.9 rating in the demo created such rush of success in the minds of executives with no skill and no talent. Greenblatt has plenty of company this season in broadcast network exes. who have just thrown away the 2014-2015 season.

      True, Fox has had a nice season with the rollout of Gotham and Empire, and Shonda allows ABC to have something positive to say about the season. But overall, a lost year for network TV.

  17. Allee says:

    I wanted to like this. I loved Ellen’s show years ago. However, I think that may be the problem. Had a lot of the same jokey jokey sensibilities as that show, and we’ve moved on. Also, that show benefited from having Ellen. On screen. Not just producing. I think Big Bang theory is the only show that can still get away with the obvious laugh track. I recorded the show, but I couldn’t finish it.

    • matty says:

      I feel like maybe Ellen’s bad experiences on her own show are making her hold back and is making this show “play it safe” without delving too much into the touchy subject matter. This show requires a little bit more skill in terms of narrative and structure. It has potential but it needs some time to grow.

    • Gail P says:

      Thank you! That laugh track was KILLING ME. I don’t like them anyway, but that thing had the volume cranked on it.

  18. mstttt says:

    Hilarious! I love Lizzy; and the supporting cast shines bright.

  19. Lusted after Kelly Brook on British TV in the late 90s & it makes me sad that this show is intolerable.

  20. Mara Nislick says:

    Liked that it was original. Definitely need to lose the laugh track. Way too much. Not every second sentence is funny. It felt so forced and hard to actually focus on what the actors were saying without dreading the next canned laughter.

  21. matty says:

    My main problem with this show is that it was too cheerful… Given the subject matter, I would have liked to see a more serious approach taken. It should aspire to be like Will & Grace but so far its falling flat.

  22. cjeffery7 says:

    gotta give it a few episodes. pretty pilot-y pilot if i’ve ever seen a pilot. generally charming actors though.

  23. Myra says:

    The laugh track killed it for me. It was quite noticeable and over done and took too much away from the show.

  24. Tee says:

    I think maybe it would work if the gal wasn’t British. Maybe Canadian would work. I find Prudence really annoying, ditzy, and bouncy. Everything about her is too bouncy. There is a way to do “zany” without it being forced. And I think she could have been less of a cartoon. In a way, this show reminds me of “Dharma and Greg” plus one.

  25. Essie says:

    I thought it was ok and there were some funny things. I will keep watching to see how it develops.

  26. I love Elisha Cuthbert ……she is gorgeous, is a great comedian and actress. I want to see her in a real show of substance again.
    The media is always pushing the abnormal behaviour…I AM SO SICK OF IT!!
    5 seconds into this show….LESBIAN – HAVING BABY WITH MALE FRIEND.
    (Hey, I bet there’s a male negro, White woman marriage/relationship in this dog too!)…………….
    2 MINUTES INTO SHOW – THE MALE NEGRO – WHITE WOMAN MARRIAGE SHOWS UP….. OF COURSE!
    American media is so f–king sick!!!
    Then I find out that lesbian ellen degenerate is the producer….it all makes sense now!

    I want to see a show without lesbians/homosexual men/interracial marriages/freaks that screw animals/etc. (1% of women identify as lesbian – all homosexuals only total 2% of our population, negros = 12%).
    BUT EVERY SHOW HAS LESBIANS, MALE HOMOS, AT LEAST 1 PATHETIC TOKEN NEGRO OR MORE WHO IS USUALLY DATING/MARRIED TO A BEAUTIFUL WHITE BLONDE!
    It’s not this way in Australia, Europe, Canada …..ONLY IN SICK America! And in ellen degenerts mind.