Tag Archives: Fran Drescher

Indebted Pilot Review

Family sitcoms have been part and parcel of the television landscape since the beginning. The question is, do these programs stand out from the pack or are they just a little too predictable?

Indebted premiered on Thursday. Linda (Fran Drescher) and Stew (Steven Weber) are a middle aged couple who, well, have not been the most responsible when it comes to their finances. When their debt becomes too much to bear, they move in with their son, Dave (Adam Pally) and daughter in law Rebecca (Abby Elliott). When generations collide, as they usually do, misunderstandings occur.

The thing about pilots is that they never reveal the nuances and the colors in both the characters and the narrative. That takes at least a season or two to develop. I was drawn to the show because it followed the standard premise of a family sitcom, but it felt like it belonged in 2020.

The problem with this show is that it trades on stereotypes and predictable character molds. I appreciate that the characters are Jewish, as there continues to be a dearth of positive Jewish representation on television. But I felt like the writers and the creative team leaned a little too far on the stereotypes instead of using them as a launching point for greater character and narrative exploration.

Do I recommend it? No.

Indebted airs on NBC on Thursday at 9:30 PM.

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Welcome to the Tribe, Tiffany Haddish

When one thinks of a Jewish woman, the image that is conjured is usually that of Barbra Streisand or Fran Drescher.

One does not think of Tiffany Haddish.

A few weeks ago, Tiffany Haddish: Black Mitzvah premiered on Netflix.

The daughter of an African-American mother and an Ethiopian Jewish father, Haddish celebrated her fortieth birthday and embraced her father’s Judaism earlier this month.

I love that she is Jewish and she embraced her Judaism. I love that she reminds audiences that not all Jews look and/or sound like Barbra Streisand or Fran Drescher. We come from all parts of the world and speak as many languages are there are to speak. Some of us have lighter skin, some of us have darker skin.

Either way, we are all Jews and Tiffany Haddish is one of us.

Welcome to the tribe, Tiffany Haddish.

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Early Flashback Friday-Happily Divorced (2011-2013)

There is nothing like translating real world experiences into art.

In the short-lived television series, Happily Divorced (2011-2013), Fran Lovett (Fran Drescher) has just learned that her husband of nearly two decades, Peter Lovett (John Michael Higgins) is gay. Instead of going their separate ways, Fran and Peter decide to make their new relationship work.

Based on Drescher’s real life (her IRL ex husband Peter Marc Jacobson also came out of the closet during their marriage, they divorced after 21 years of marriage), the show tries to re-interpret the family sitcom for the modern era that we live in.

The problem with the show is that while it was moderately entertaining and funny, it did not have the lasting power of Drescher’s other show, The Nanny.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

 

 

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The Critics Were Wrong (Maybe)-Beautician And The Beast (1997)

There are only so many story ideas. It can appear to be easy to combine two different stories and hope that the mingling of  these two distinct stories will work well together. But appearances are sometimes deceiving.

Taking a break from her television role, Fran Drescher starred with Timothy Dalton in 1997’s Beautician And The Beast.

Combining Beauty And The Beast and The King and I, Joy Miller (Drescher) is a New York City Cosmetologist who is thought to be a teacher. She is hired to teach the children of Boris Pochenko (Dalton), the dictator of an Eastern European country.  Her way of educating her students soon reach the ears of not just their father, but the whole country.

The reality of this movie is that Fran Drescher did not step too far from the shadow of Fran Fine when she agreed to play Joy Miller.  Timothy Dalton is an incredible actor who happens to be also incredibly easy on the eyes, but the man who played James Bond, Heathcliff and Edward Rochester is not the man who is on screen for this movie. In short, he is wasted as an actor.

Were the critics wrong? No.

 

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Filed under Beauty and the Beast, Movie Review, Movies, New York City, The Critics Were Wrong

Throwback Thursday-TV Edition-The Nanny (1993)

Life can be very interesting sometimes. We think we are down for the count, but then an opportunity appears and we take it, not knowing what will happen.

In The Nanny (1993), Fran Fine (Fran Drescher) has been dumped by her boyfriend and has lost her job. In an effort to earn a living, she sells makeup door to door. She knocks on the door of Maxwell Sheffield (Charles Shaughnessy), a British widowed Broadway producer with three growing children. Believed to be on of the applicants who is looking to work for Mr. Sheffield as his children’s nanny, she takes on the position of raising her charges in a world that is not her own.

Fran is crass, outspoken, likes her hair big, her skirts small and raised in a Jewish family from Flushing. Maxwell is from the upper classes of Britain who is proper, controlled and respectable. While the basis of the story can be found in The Sound Of Music, there are also elements of I Love Lucy. But Fran also has a big heart and loves her charges as if they were her own.

Do I recommend it?  It’s not Shakespeare, but it’s nice way to unwind at the end of the day.

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