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.