Snap Judgment: 'Miss Guided'

Judygreer_lI have a theory that many successful TV and film writers were nerds in high school, and that writing about high school (and coming up with unflattering depictions of their former tormentors) is their revenge. I think some of that is what’s behind former Office scribe Caroline Williams’ Miss Guided, which premiered on ABC last night. The sitcom has only one joke, and it’s one we’ve heard often, but it’s still a good one: that no matter how old we are, we never really graduate from high school. Proving this unfortunate maxim is Becky Freeley, former high school nerd who returns as a guidance counselor to her alma mater. She’s still a nerd, she’s still pining after a dim hunk (auto-shop-teacher-turned-Spanish-instructor Tim O’Malley), and still seething over her old nemesis, homecoming queen Lisa Germain (who’s also a new teacher at the school).

Now, I love Judy Greer; she’s a terrific comic actress who’s deserved her own vehicle for far too long; I just don’t think this is it. (Read the magazine’s quick-hit review of Miss Guided.) I’m not sure how much fun it’s going to be to watch her hapless, older-but-not-really-wiser nerd get humiliated in gag after gag, week after week. Still, she won me over during a scene where she lurks in the bushes outside the homecoming dance, watching Tim and Lisa chat inside, and singing along to the Pussycat Dolls "Don’t Cha." She gets able comic support from SNL/30 Rock alum Chris Parnell as a martinet vice principal; she has nice chemistry with Kristoffer Polaha (best known for starring as JFK Jr. in that made-for-TV biopic a few years ago) as Tim, and even Baywatch babe Brooke Burns provides more layers than mere vampiness to Lisa. I’m just not sure if all that will be enough to sustain the show beyond its well-worn premise. In fact, I’m not sure who this show is for: I don’t think a lot of adults really want to relive their high school embarrassments, but a lot of the humor will sail over kids’ heads.

Raise your hands, students: who watched this show last night? What did you think of it? Will you stick with it?

addCredit(“Judy Greer: Bob D’Amico”)

Comments (35 total) Add your comment
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  • Stephanie. T

    Fern Mayo is funny. Who knew? Strangers with Candy was funnier, but this will do. Chris Parnell is the man.

  • Nancy

    I watched it. It was better than I thought it would be, and I enjoyed it. I think this sitcom deserves a chance – last night was the first episode. I’m going to start Tivo’ing it. IMO it’s premature to dismiss this show already. Let it ride for a half dozen episodes, then revisit this subject and see what you think.

  • Kelly

    It’s better than Samantha Who, another show with a one-note premise (hey, she has amnesia!).

  • Emilee

    I enjoyed the show. I think its got a lot of potential, once it hits its stride.

  • Gretchen

    i dvr’d it, but havent watched it yet. I love Judy Greer, so unless something terribly tragic happens, i think i will love it.

  • Gretchen

    i dvr’d it, but havent watched it yet. I love Judy Greer, so unless something terribly tragic happens, i think i will love it.

  • Sweet

    It usually takes about 3 episodes to make a judgement for me but I thought it was funny. And I do believe you never really graduate from high school.

  • cimagato

    I missed it! Thanks for letting me know. I love Judy Greer, too and hope this is worth her talent.

  • snoofle

    i watched it..and loved it, probably b/c i love Judy Greer, but I hope this show sticks around

  • Ryan

    I watched it, and while it wasn’t the greatest thing I’ve ever seen, I enjoyed it. I usually try a show out at least twice anyway before dumping it. But I like Judy Greer. She gives me the urge to flash my chest and shout “This is the last time you’ll be seeing these!”

  • NineDaves

    i liked it! it earned it’s season pass setting on my tivo. i thought it was charming!

  • Sadie

    I liked it; I can’t wait for Ashton Kutcher on tomorrow’s episode. He looks pretty dreamy in the commercials. And yes, Chris Parnell IS the man — I wanted to hear him break out an inappropriate rap at the dance.

  • Cam

    I watched it. Started off okay but put me to sleep within 20 minutes. Not a good sign for a half-hour show. I love Judy Greer, but the show was just “meh” for me. I’ll give it another chance or two, as long as there’s nothing else on against it.

  • anna

    i watched it because there was nothing on after dwts. and i’ll probably continue watching it, because there isnt anything on tv on thursdays at 8. but i didnt really love it. if it doesnt get better im back to food network on thursdays.

  • Brian

    I absolutely loved this show. The supporting cast was very funny and Judy Greer is amazing. I really, really enjoyed it and hope it stays on the air.

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