Pilot Perception: How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)

Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.

The Show: How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life), ABC in the U.S. and City TV in Canada, Wednesdays at 9:30/8:30c

The Pedigree: The show was created by Claudia Lonow (Accidentally on Purpose, Friends with Benefits), who also wrote the pilot and executive produces along with Francie Calfo (Scoundrels, The Great Escape) and Brian Grazer (24, Friday Night Lights, Parenthood). The pilot was directed by Julie Anne Robinson (Weeds, Suburgatory).

The Cast & How You Know Them: HTLWYP stars Sarah Chalke (Scrubs), Elizabeth Perkins (Weeds), Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond), Jon Dore (The Jon Dore Show), Stephanie Hunt (Friday Night Lights), and relative newcomer Rachel Eggleston.

The Premise: After her divorce, Polly and her young daughter Natalie move in with her eccentric parents as they try to rebuild their lives.

A Taste:

What Works: Frankly, this wasn’t really outstanding in any way (good or bad), but it was cute and fun and I enjoyed it. The cast is good – I always like Sarah Chalke – and the child character manages to be cute but not annoying, at least so far. It’s nice to have some decent family comedies as a break from all the “groups of adult friends” comedies, so I’ll definitely keep watching this one at least for a while.

What Doesn’t: Well. There’s that horrible title. Seriously, what were they thinking? The characters are all pretty broad types so far, but that’s fairly common in pilots. We’ll have to wait and see whether they remain stereotypes or become actual nuanced characters. And, similarly, if the comedy keeps relying on hitting the same notes of the differences between Polly and her parents, that will get old quickly. Hopefully the characters and themes will evolve.

Our Favorite Line: “I’m a mermaid!” “Okay, we’re mermaids now. I can’t keep up with the plot.”

You Might Like This if you like multigenerational family comedies. The premise of a serious single mother and her daughter dealing with their wacky and irresponsible but loving family reminded me of Ben & Kate, though this one didn’t grab me immediately the way Ben & Kate did.

If You’re Interested: Watch the full pilot above, thanks to Hulu. (Or at City TV.) Then set your DVR for 9:30/8:30c tonight for episode two!

(Photo courtesy of ABC.)

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