Television: Great News

If you like Tina Fey's brand of comedy (and I do), Great News is more of that. Some of the lines are so Fey, you can imagine her saying them. As it is, Briga Heelan nails the delivery. (Note that Fey did not write any of the scripts, but she is an executive producer.)

What's the show about? Briga Heelan plays Katie, a segment producer on the afternoon news magazine show The Breakdown. Echoes of 30 Rock abound, though the personalities here are slightly less eccentric. Just as neurotic, though. And yes, there is a difference.

The entire cast does a fine job, but John Michael Higgins as news personality Chuck Pierce is the one who makes me laugh out loud. Nicole Richie holds her own against him as they form a mismatched pair of old-school anchorman versus millennial ADHD energy.

Katie's mother Carol (Andrea Martin) comes to intern on the show. (Don't ask, just watch.) Somehow she ends up being the only one who can manage Chuck and therefore becomes indispensable. While PCHH gushed over Martin, I can't say she's my favorite character. This is only after three episodes, however; maybe she gains depth over time. For now she's one joke: helicopter mom annoying her daughter in the workplace. It has its moments but isn't consistently funny. Though it comes in myriad flavors—Mom tries to hook Katie up with coworkers, Mom tries to keep Katie safe during a potentially dangerous assignment—it's all really much of the same: Mom meddling.

Still, if the show should branch away from Carol and Katie a little, I can anticipate devouring the episodes in short order. There is a lot of fun to be had if we can stop focusing on the one gag.

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