'Playing House' review: 'Gilmore Girls,' gone wild

From left, Lennon Parham as Maggie Caruso and From left, Lennon Parham as Maggie Caruso and Jessica St. Claire as Emma Crawford in "Playing House" Episode 102, "Bird Bones." Photo Credit: USA Network / Neil Jacobs

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REVIEW

THE SERIES "Playing House"

WHEN | WHERE Premieres Tuesday at 10 and 10:30 p.m. on USA

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Best friends reunited: High-powered exec Emma (Jessica St. Clair) comes home to support pregnant small-town pal Maggie (Lennon Parham). Fueled by the rampant mockery that bonded them years back, they'll be negotiating new situations amid familiar faces.

Like that hedgehog cupcake maker who sexually harassed them through high school. Or the ex-boyfriend cop (Keegan-Michael Key of "Key and Peele") solving cases of stolen garden gnomes. And his bizarro wife (Lindsay Sloane).

MY SAY Women pals wending their way through weird situations. That's what this TV season seems to be gifting us. From Comedy Central's "Broad City" to CBS' underappreciated "Mom," female actors are set loose to be as gonzo as the guys.

Or, should we say, setting themselves loose. Like "Broad City," USA's single-camera "Playing House" is created and run by its stars, best buds from the Upright Citizens Brigade improv house that hatched Amy Poehler. After their 2012 NBC misstep with NYC-set "Best Friends Forever," the pair has recast the concept and their chemistry into a suburban setting that feels fresher and friendlier, truly finding its footing at 10:30 with Sloane (and those gnomes).

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BOTTOM LINE "Gilmore Girls" gone gonzo-er.

GRADE B

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