The Return Of Jezebel James: Possibly Disappointing

So there's this new Fox show called The Return Of Jezebel James, written and produced by Amy Sherman of Gilmore Girls fame. Sounds great, right? And guess what? The cast is a dream: Parker Posey, Lauren Ambrose, and, rumor has it, Dianne Wiest (playing their mom). But upon viewing two clips, we're not sure the network has a hit on its hands. The pitch: When a newly single, professional woman learns she's unable to conceive, she looks to her estranged younger sister to carry her baby for her. Jezebel James was the younger sister's imaginary friend; the older sister turned Jezebel's adventures into a book. Could that sway lil' sis to get knocked up for big sis?

The main problem with what we're seeing so far is that damn laugh track. Shows like 30 Rock, The Office and Scrubs manage to be funny without canned laughter; Fox should tune in to NBC and take note. Judge for yourself: There's the clip above and another below.

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DISCUSSION

A few weeks ago, I was making a comment about television at a RL gathering, when one of those people who don't watch tv made a dismissive remark about laugh tracks. His statement really didn't have anything to do with my point, but it caused me to count-up and realize that all of the sitcoms on CBS and Fox have a laugh track, as does most on The CW and ABC, while I couldn't think of one on NBC with the annoying feature.

A million years ago, Alan Alda and company fought hard to get the laughs cut from MASH, a CBS show and Jay Tarses gave us Molly Dodd without a laugh track, something you could say that he and his son has done with most of their shows since, but apparently in the decades between then and now, a couple of the networks haven't gotten the message.