Home
NEW TODAY
SCRIPT CONTESTS
FREE EVENTS
WATCH MOVIES
NEW MOVIES
FESTIVAL VIDEOS
PICTURES
READ POETRY
MOVIE SCENES
SUBMIT your FILM
POETRY CONTEST
DAILY PODCASTS
WATCH FREE FILMS
THE LAST RITE
2010 MOVIES
ACTORS
ACTRESSES
DIRECTORS
MOVIES by YEAR
FILM FRANCHISES
MOVIE GENRES
NOTES and IDEAS
WATCH VIRAL
GET OUR E-ZINE!
CONTACT US
TOP 100 Sex
FAQ
2011 MOVIES

Subscribe To This Site
XML RSS
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines
 

NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE
by Mitchell Bard

New Adventures of Old Christine

helpimagehelpimage

MITCHELL BARD PODCAST - The future of media, NBC and the internet!

Reviews/Movies/Columns
Movies by DecadeWATCH FILMS
2008 Shorts
2007 Shorts
Drama Shorts
Comedy Shorts
Horror Shorts
Animation Shorts
Action Shorts
Thriller Shorts
DOC Shorts
Experimental
Musical Videos
Movies by DecadeCLASSIC FILMS
2000s Reviews
1990s Reviews
1980s Reviews
1970s Reviews
1960s Reviews
1950s Reviews
1940s Reviews
1930s Reviews
1920s Reviews
Movies by DecadeBY GENRE
Drama
Comedy
Action
Comic Book
Western
Animation
Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Thriller/Suspense
2009 MOVIE GENRES2009 MOVIE REVIEWS
Drama Movies
Comedy Movies
Action Movies
Thriller Movies
Animation Movies
Horror Movies
Kids Movies
Romance Movies
OUT ON DVDOUT ON DVD

See what's out at the comfort of your home!
2009 MOVIE TRAILER2009 MOVIE TRAILERS

See the trailers of the UPCOMING TOP movies!
Movie Reviews
2009 DRAMA MOVIES2009 DRAMA MOVIES

All the dramatic films from 2009
2009 COMEDY MOVIES2009 COMEDY MOVIES

All the comedy films from 2009
2009 HORROR MOVIES2009 HORROR MOVIES

All the horror films from 2009
2009 ACTION MOVIES2009 ACTION MOVIES

All the action films from 2009
2009 KIDS MOVIES2009 KIDS MOVIES

All the children films from 2009
2009 ROMANCE MOVIES2009 ROMANCE MOVIES

All the romantic films from 2009
2009 THRILLER MOVIES2009 THRILLER MOVIES

All the thriller films from 2009
2009 ANIMATED MOVIES2009 ANI-
MATED MOVIES


All the animated films from 2009


NEW ADVENTURESNEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE
by Mitchell Bard

"Networks Vie for "Christine," But I Honestly Don't Know Why"

Yesterday I read a small item that grabbed my attention: "The New Adventures of Old Christine" (CBS, Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. Eastern) will be back for it's fifth season next year, since the show's production company has cut a "back-up" deal that will place the sitcom on ABC if CBS decides not to pick it up. In essence, ABC and CBS are tussling for "Christine." My initial reaction was, "Why?"

From a business point of view, I kind of understand why ABC might be interested, since while "Christine"'s ratings are nothing spectacular (in the 8 million range for new episodes), it routinely kicks ABC's competing sitcom "Scrubs" in the butt (the audience for "Scrubs" is usually between 5 million and 6 million). But from CBS's point of view, "Christine" loses to Fox's "Lie to Me," and has barely edged out a rerun of "Law & Order" on NBC on its last two airings before last night. Also, "Christine" is not on CBS's high-profile night for comedy, Mondays, which features hit "Two and a Half Men" and buzzy entries like "Big Bang Theory" and "How I Met Your Mother." And "Christine" seems to be antithetical to ABC's "anything different" programming ethos, so I don't see how such a conventional sitcom would be a fit for the network (it's not a throwback like "Surviving Suburbia").

By retaining "Christine" (as the article indicates many industry observers think will happen), CBS would be keeping a modest hit at a potentially high cost (the amount of money it takes to retain a show as it gets older goes up), and if ABC were to dive in, it would get some ratings improvement on "Scrubs," but without any chance of the show becoming a huge hit.

Put another way, it's not like it would be colossally stupid for either network to program the show, but I just don't understand all the fuss over what is an exceptionally ordinary comedy.

I had watched the first two seasons of "Christine," mainly to watch the talented "Seinfeld" star Julia Louis-Dreyfus. But the show just wasn't funny enough to me, and when it conflicted with something else to start its third season, I just let the program go. Since "Christine" is on before "Gary Unmarried," which I do watch, I let my TiVo record "Christine" this year, but I didn't bother watching a single episode. That is, until I read the story about the sitcom's dual suitors, which led me to watch last night's installment, to see if I was missing something.

And after 30 minutes of "Christine," I was left with the same thought: I don't get it. Why are these two networks fighting over this program?

For those who haven't seen it, "Christine" is built around a wacky extended family. Christine (Dreyfus) is divorced from Richard (Clark Gregg), who, as the program launched, was dating a younger woman also named Christine (thus, New Christine, played by Emily Rutherfurd, and no, that's not a typo). Since Christine and Richard have a son, Richie (Trevor Gagnon), who

they are raising together, they both make an effort to get along, forming a kind of dysfunctional family unit, too close at times, too competitive at others. Christine's laid back brother Matthew (Hamish Linklater) lives with her to help with Richie, while Christine owns a gym with her best friend Barb (Wanda Sykes). Richie goes to an upscale private school, and two snooty blonde mothers (Tricia O'Kelley and Alex Kapp Horner) there look down on Christine, taking any chance to belittle her.

To me, again, the adjective that best describes the show is ordinary. The plots are ordinary (last night, Christine tries to get Matthew into shape, only to find that he loses more weight doing nothing than she does working hard, while Richard reconsiders his engagement to New Christine when Richie says he doesn't want them to get married). The jokes are ordinary (Christine tells Matthew she can be sensitive to his weight gain, then immediately puts her hand on his stomach and says she "felt a kick"). And the characters are ordinary (the blondes' act grew thin three episodes into the first season, Richard is the kid-at-heart Peter Pan all the time, and Christine is always shooting herself in the foot). It just makes for a mildly amusing, but certainly not memorable or interesting, half hour.

To be clear, I don't affirmatively dislike "Christine" in the way that I am actively bothered by "Two and a Half Men," "According to Jim" and "The Bill Engvall Show." There is nothing offensive or blatantly pandering about "Christine." It's just, well, ordinary.

OLD CHRISTINE PICI think the problem at the heart of "Christine" is Christine. She isn't only unlikable, you don't really give a crap about her. Sure, the "Seinfeld" lot were pretty self-absorbed, but the show had an edge (and, not incidentally, laughs) that made spending 30 minutes with them worthwhile. Christine is just annoying. She's insensitive to those around her and completely self-directed. She's not a great mother, sister or ex-wife, and she's not even good at her job (something made clear when she tries to help Matthew lose weight and talks about working his core as his "coral system"). Sykes's Barb is the voice of reason, taking control after Christine messes up, but as I watched last night's show, I couldn't help wondering, Why does Barb hang around Christine? Why does she like her? It just doesn't make sense. I'm not blaming Louis-Dreyfus. She occasionally wrings laughs from hackneyed set-ups by sheer force of will. But Christine is just not a character I want to watch.

(As an aside, if you are a fan of the deadpan, cranky character Sykes has specialized in playing, which I am, then you may find Barb to be the one funny aspect of "Christine," as I do. I also like some of the lines Linklater's Matthew delivers. Linklater is good at not overplaying to get a laugh.)

So an uninteresting main character, who is not given genuinely funny things to do (last night, the done-to-death bit of the out-of-shape shlub, in this case Christine, being knocked over by a thrown medicine ball was employed), does not add up to a great sitcom.

And certainly not one worthy of being fought over by two networks.

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK of this page on www.WILDsound.ca
Re:
First Name
E-mail Address
TELL US WHAT YOU THINK of this page on www.WILDsound.ca
CLICK HERE and read more TV REVIEWS by Mitchell Bard

CLICK HERE and read more TV COLUMNS

CLICK HERE and read reviews of every film from 2008

CLICK HERE and read the AFI Top 10 list for 10 Greatest Genre movies

CLICK HERE and see what's OUT ON DVD right now!

CLICK HERE and read MOVIE REVIEWS of all the TOP Films at the box office today!

helpimage
MOVIE REVIEWS
Movies by Decade
MOVIES BY DECADE
2000s Reviews
1990s Reviews
1980s Reviews
1970s Reviews
1960s Reviews
1950s Reviews
1940s Reviews
1930s Reviews
1920s Reviews
Movies by Decade
MOVIES BY GENRE
Drama
Comedy
Action
Comic Book
Western
Animation
Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Thriller/Suspense/
Horror
Movies by Decade
2008 MOVIE REVIEWS
MORE REVIEWS of all the great and not so great films from 2008.
Indiana Jones
The Dark Knight
Hancock
WALL-E
etc.......

NOW - Click on the images and watch the BEST OF SHORT FILM from the VARIOUS GENRES and YEARS!

helpimage2008 MOVIES

WATCH the best of Short Film from 2008

From all over the world!

helpimage2007 MOVIES

WATCH the best of Short Film from 2007

Classic shorts!


helpimageDRAMA MOVIES

WATCH the best of DRAMA Short Films

Best of short film!

helpimageCOMEDY MOVIES

WATCH the best of COMEDY Films

Non-stop laughing!


helpimageHORROR MOVIES

WATCH the best of HORROR Short Films

Scary and insane!

helpimageANIMATION MOVIES

WATCH the best of ANIMATION Films

All types!


helpimageACTION MOVIES

WATCH the best of ACTION Short Films

Non-stop fun!

helpimageTHRILLER MOVIES

WATCH the best of THRILLER Films

Edge of seat!


helpimageDOCUMENTARY MOVIES

WATCH the best of DOC Short Films

Stories of today!

helpimageEXPERIMENTAL MOVIES

WATCH the best of EXPERIMENTAL Films

For everyone!


helpimageMUSICAL MOVIES

WATCH the best of MUSICAL Short Films

All kinds of music!

helpimageONE MINUTE MOVIES

WATCH the best of 1 MINUTE Films

15 sec. to 60 sec.!


ALSO WATCH BEST OF SCREENPLAYS

helpimageFEATURE SCREENPLAYS

WATCH the WINNING Screenplay Readings

1st ACT and Full Features!

helpimageTV SCREENPLAYS

WATCH the WINNING TV Scripts

Original TV PILOT and TV SPEC Screenplay Readings!


helpimageSHORT SCREENPLAYS

WATCH the WINNING Screenplay Readings

2 minute to 30 minute Readings!

helpimageONE PAGE SCREENPLAYS

WATCH the WINNING Scripts

Finalists and scripts that are now films!




New Adventures of Old Christine


footer for New Adventures of Old Christine page