• Julia Louis-Dreyfus new sitcom is as far from "Seinfeld" as it's possible to imagine and that's a giant leap in the right direction. "Watching Ellie" escapes the supposed curse dogging the "Seinfeld" cast members simply by being something the other attempts were not: it is good, extremely good. Viewers will have to surrender some of their preconceived notions about situation comedy and about "Watching Ellie"'s star. This is a bold departure in television format, especially for comedy, in that it runs in real-time. Twenty-two minutes elapse during the show and that is precisely how much time we see play out in Ellie's life. The clock counting down the remaining time adds a special urgency as we see Ellie struggle to make a club date on time or avoid an oblivious ex-boyfriend. It's a blend of humour and edge-of-the-seat urgency that keeps you riveted to the screen. And don't expect to see Elaine Benes revived; this is a new character, a different world. Ellie is as smart and sharp as Elaine ever was, but the edges are softened here. This is a woman who cares about the people around her. Ellie is charming, uncertain, witty, and utterly human. This is a woman we want to follow every week, want to see get her life in order, find happiness, and make us laugh. And that last she does very well.