Angel From Hell Review

Angel From Hell: Did CBS' New Comedy Earn Its Wings?

CBS changed up its Thursday slate this week with the arrival of an Angel From Hell. Was the Jane Lynch/Maggie Lawson “buddy” comedy Heaven-sent in the laughs department?

Even upon my [Counts fingers…] third viewing of this pilot, I still found myself laughing out loud at the jokes I’d hear twice before, so in my opinion there’s something here to build on. As Amy, the titular guardian angel, Lynch is obviously having a field day, getting to deliver her zingers with a bit more, yes, glee than she did as drill sergeant-like Sue Sylvester. There’s a sweetness to Amy’s interactions with Allison, whom she simply wants to see live for herself versus others.

As Allison, Lawson is charming as always, and in Episode 2 she gets a bit more of a comedic showcase, especially when she peppers Amy with a lighting round of “angel” questions, or when she has occasion to sit across a table from a childhood idol. She bounces well off TV fam Kevin Pollak and Kyle Bornheimer; my one concern is that Allison burns through two BFFs in two weeks, so who will she hang with outside of ubiquitous Amy?

Of the supporting cast, Pollak, boarding this project straight off his Mom run, is well cast as Allison’s father, Mark; the trick here may be in giving him enough to do in that capacity. Next week, he and Bornheimer’s Brad embark on a “mission” together, but it’s the slightest of B-stories. Pollak and Lynch obviously are contemporaries, but two episodes in their characters have yet to interact and they might not anytime soon, for a reason hinted upon next week.

Bornheimer brings with him a legacy of short-lived comedies, some undeservedly so, but I really enjoy what he’s doing here, especially in the pilot scene opposite Lynch. I hope they steer Brad more toward that “questionably earned sense of swagger,” as opposed to making him straight-out misguided or a goof.  Storyline-wise, I can’t imagine Liza Lapira will be back as Jill, which is a shame since the character served dual purposes, as Allison’s gal pal and the object of Brad’s obsession.

What was your first impression of Angel From Hell?

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39 Comments
  1. Lillian says:

    I was sorry to see Liza Lapira’s character was a one off, I like the actress. I liked it. I like the supporting characters a lot. Kevin Pollack is always good.

  2. Mr. Tran K says:

    If Angel From Hell becomes a breakout hit, not happy. If it doesn’t, prove it to the naysayers. Try not to complain about what I’ve said ’cause it hurts my feelings even though I get so emotional.

  3. herman1959 says:

    I enjoyed it; I gave it a B. However, I have a feeling that if the angel was played by anyone other than Jane Lynch, I might not have felt the same way. I’ll watch again next week.

    • David4 says:

      On Blacklist if Red was played by anyone other than James Spader the show would have lasted 4 episodes. Good casting can make or break a show.

    • Jo March says:

      I don’t get your point. It wasn’t played by anyone else, so…..? That’s why casting is so important. It also shows how good Jane Lynch is; you can’t imagine anyone else in the role she’s playing.

  4. collier duncan says:

    i don’t plan to watch anymore. an angel drinking booze from a flask is somewhat offensive.
    the concept is really good, but the angel is a bit too hardcore.

  5. Tom says:

    Was kinda meh. I don’t know, it’s….got potential

  6. B says:

    I enjoyed it and will definitely check it out again. I laughed out loud too, and I also appreciated the sweeter moments. There was a pretty good balance between the humor and the sweetness that I hope they’ll maintain.

  7. dan says:

    It was better than I expected. I’ll check it out again. Based on a few reviews I read, I thought it would be groan-worthy with Jane’s character too over-the-top. I actually found it somewhat funny and I liked the supporting family members (father and brother). If Jane’s characterization of Amy reaches Sue Sylvester levels of ridiculousness then I’ll stop watching. Otherwise, I’m willing to watch a few more episodes (which is the same way I’ve felt about Life In Pieces which is another decent new CBS comedy).

    • Mr. Tran K says:

      Hope that both Life in Pieces and Angel From Hell won’t survive for another season. Sometimes they’re cringe worthy.

  8. liame says:

    Crickets…

  9. Jake says:

    Jane Lynch has done better. I watched and I would give it a “C” it was ok, but not great.

  10. robandco says:

    Nothing fantastic and original, but we all have watched far worse.
    The role is perfect for Jane Lynch and I have to say the heroin and her family is pretty good. The show can be good, but the next episodes and what they do with the angel/heroin dynamic will make or break the show.

  11. racingphan says:

    So so. I will only watch it again because of Kevin Pollak. I really liked Jane Lynch in the 40 Year Old Virgin and as Reid’s mother in Criminal Minds, but not at all here.

  12. KC says:

    Very funny. I love Jane Lynch. I will keep watching!

  13. smartysenior says:

    I only made it about halfway through, Lynch was trying too hard and it was a little annoying. Maybe I’ll give the other half a shot later when I’m in a better mood but I think it needs to be toned down a little as far as jumping around with a big smiling face and loud voice.

  14. Jenny says:

    How to put this?
    Jane Lynch is great, but she deserves better. The concept. Though not new, there is potential. Amy isnt supposed to be perfect and she is trying to earn her wings. However,
    alcoholism just isn’t funny. It’s like trying to watch the Otis character in reruns of Andy Griffith. Cringe-worthy. (Though it was probably funny to many at the time. It doesnt have the same effect as a sraightlaced person who unknowingly becomes tipsy — like a Sheldon Cooper. In a drama, it would be more acceptable.)

    • Jo March says:

      What alcoholism? Amy was never shown drunk; she wasn’t shown drinking all the time. Otis was a stumbling drunk sleeping it off in a drunk tank; I don’t get the comparison.

  15. Jo March says:

    Loved the show! Jane Lynch is fabulous. Her coach Sue had turned into an unfunny caricature by the end of Glee’s run, so I’m glad to see her in old form. She and Maggie Lawson are great together. The episode showed how wasted Maggie was on Psych playing Sean’s straight “man”.

    • drhenning says:

      OTH…. she became famous on Psych.. I’m watching ( though watching Black List Live).. Glad I have a 6 tuner DVR since Scandal is also on eventually… I thought it was a very good pilot episode… It’ll be fun where it all goes..

  16. Tony says:

    Jane Lynch is kind of a one-trick-pony …. plays the same character every time I see her, even when she’s just being Jane Lynch. One-trick comes out one-note. Boring. But maybe chicks will like it.

  17. Jo March says:

    One commentator complained the angel was “too hardcore”; another said alcoholism wasn’t funny and compared Amy to Otis the drunk on the Andy Griffith show. I’m starting to think that many people on this site are prudes. What’s the demographic for this site? a high percentage of southern Baptists? I won’t go so far as to say “old ladies” because I”M an old lady and I would take offense at that.

  18. April says:

    I will watch again but can do without the crude language. It’s not necessary for the show to be funny.

  19. I enjoyed it. Light hearted and edgy. Likeable characters. I set my DVR.

  20. Carol says:

    Awesome show!
    We need this type of light humor (with no canned laughter) to unwind after a long week.

  21. Timmah says:

    I was expecting not to like it, but it actually wasn’t bad. Kind of funny, kind of sweet too. Will watch again.

  22. Bryan says:

    Once again a show with a good cast must resort to sexual joke and swearing and crude jokes like farting and orgasm (combining crude and sexual) to get humor without any creative writing. When she countered back “her uncle was a dentist” that was clever without a sexual or crude device

  23. Laura wagy says:

    J lynch has great timing and the duo works. Every new show starts by trying hard. They should relax and this will be fun and entertaining!

  24. Eileen says:

    Jane Lynch is the only good thing about this show. The rest falls flat and the actors are so-so. Jane Lynch is remarkable, funny, and she can play many rolls and always does an outstanding job. The story line is good, but just missing on o many levels

  25. Jrb902 says:

    Jane needs to fix hair and be less dingy. She was great on 2 and a half men. Maggie great! Too early for next boyfriend. Dad and brother good chemistry, good humor. Angel way too out there. Need more sincerity. I’m sure a work in progress.