TV Review: 'Miss Guided' has hits along with misses
"Miss Guided" stars Judy Greer (center) as Becky Freeley, Brooke Burns as Lisa Germain, Kristoffer Polaha (left) as Tim O'Malley, Earl Billings as Principal Huffy and Chris Parnell as Vice Principal Bruce Terry.
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For some, ABC's "Miss Guided" (10:30 tonight, WTAE) may live up to its title. But for viewers willing to give themselves over to whimsy and let go of any expectation that they're watching characters who resemble real-life human beings, this comedy has its minor charms.
Judy Greer (fantastic as Kitty on "Arrested Development") stars as Becky Freeley, who returns to her old high school as a guidance counselor but still faces the same insecurities she had as a student. Becky is in love with Spanish teacher Tim (Kristoffer Polaha), mooning over him in the same cliched way a freshman cheerleader pines for the varsity quarterback.
- When: 10:30 tonight, WTAE.
- Starring: Judy Greer
Her dreams of landing Tim are spoiled when her high school rival, Lisa (Brooke Burns), shows up as a new English teacher. Lisa invites Tim to be her date as they chaperone a school dance that Becky planned. Becky ends up watching them from the bushes outside.
Becky's stalker tendencies are creepy and perhaps not as cute as series creator Caroline Williams intends.
Directed by Todd Holland ("Malcolm in the Middle," "Wonderfalls"), a Kittanning native who grew up in Meadville, "Miss Guided" has a bright, quirky look and features a lot of direct address to the camera. Flashbacks to Becky in high school -- with headgear, overweight -- also persist.
The show is at its funniest with toss-away lines of dialogue, including Becky's reasons for arriving at the dance early ("in case someone faints or cries or has a baby in the bathroom") and the principal's announcement that he'll be observing in classrooms ("If I'm in your class, don't be alarmed. I'm judging you.").
Executive producer Ashton Kutcher casts himself as a salivated-over substitute Spanish teacher next week as the show moves to its regular 8 p.m. Thursday time slot, where it will air back-to-back episodes until "Ugly Betty" returns next month.
Greer radiates warmth and positivity in the title role, but her character is such a confidence-lacking doormat that I can't imagine many viewers admitting that they relate to her. Maybe if we think of these characters as cartoons, "Miss Guided" will be easier to stomach.
First Published March 18, 2008 12:00 am