That is the question of the day about ABCFamily’s new sitcom Melissa & Joey. First of all, I have to breathe a hefty sigh of relief that this show doesn’t suck. Their advertising campaign was borderline gimmicky and that never bodes well for a show…if the first two episodes are any indication, I’ll forgive ABCFamily the gimmick. Also, I had to pause and rewind when I heard them say it’s filmed in front of a live studio audience. I can’t remember the last time I heard that in earnest (Supernatural‘s tongue and cheek use in Changing Channels last season doesn’t count…).
The word overbearing comes to mind when I think of Melissa’s character, but Joey is so mellow, you hardly notice. I have to say, I definitely prefer them both that way. Nobody throws a hissy fit like Melissa Joan Hart. And Joey Lawrence has spent so much of his adult life running from Blossom, it’s refreshing to see him laid back and comfortable in a role.
I have to say what I enjoyed most about it was that it didn’t get bogged down in any back story. With the exception of the first scene in the pilot, they just zoom right along without leaving the viewer confused about why Joey is there and why Melissa has custody of her niece and nephew. The writing feels organic and the dialogue doesn’t feel contrived in anyway. I also like that they aren’t forcing any sort of romantic notions down our throats. Obviously, these two will meander down that way, but for right now, they seem to be fine with that meandering being slow – which I guess is sort of the definition of meandering. The only thing I found obnoxious, adorable or otherwise, is Melissa’s tendency to sink into Valley Girl Tween speak. That could get old fast if they start using it as a main course instead of a spice.
Verdict overall – a solid first showing. I will be tuning in next week for whatever craziness these two want to service up. It doesn’t hurt that Joey Lawrence is still hot either. I’m just saying…
Check out MJH and JL’s fancast interview!