SITCOM PREMIERE "I Hate My Teenage Daughter"
WHEN|WHERE Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. on Fox/5
WHAT IT'S ABOUT A pair of single moms/best friends have raised a pair of 14-year-old daughters who are also best friends. But -- and please pay attention because this is the whole series -- the moms, Annie (Pressly) and Nikki (Finneran), have given them everything they never had, which has had the unintended consequence of turning the girls into spoiled little monsters.
Nikki's ex, Gary (Chad L. Coleman), and Annie's ex, Matt (Eric Sheffer Stevens), are also floating around. The brats, Sophie (Kristi Lauren) and McKenzie (Aisha Dee), have all of them twisted in parental knots. Both moms are actually living vicariously through their spawn: Deprived in their own childhood -- or as someone says to Annie, "you lived in military lockdown and dressed like a character from 'Little House on the Prairie' " -- they really wanted to be just like Sophie and McKenzie.
MY SAY "I Hate My Teenage Daughter" is pretty much the caboose of the fall TV season, and the caboose it deserves to be. This feels more like a rushed afterthought by Fox instead of a fully developed premise that could carry a pair of seasoned actors to their retirement, or at least to a big payday.
All those old, desperately moldy teen-inspired jokes about skimpy clothes, mean girls and Facebook are trotted out for the benefit of a studio audience that behaves as though it has never heard them before. Finneran and Pressly mug and yawp their way through material that barely rises to the level of sitcom cliche. Next week's episode is an improvement over the pilot -- correct, this is not saying much -- but that does seem like a long time to wait for the first genuinely funny line.
BOTTOM LINE Sitcom gruel.