17 June 2003 | Jack_Yan
Thank God it's not blimmin' Friends
I couldn't believe just how fine a comedienne Geena Davis is. We've seen her in dramatic roles, but she has a real flair for comedic timing. Davis's performance is so natural and, above all, completely entertaining.
It's a shame to hear that this show was cancelled so early. The writing was largely enjoyable (especially the episode 'Piece of Cake'; however, 'Cooties' was blandly horrid), Andy Cadiff's direction well-paced, and it was funny. A lot of shows today force humour; The Geena Davis Show genuinely does it through wit with the occasional but not altogether unwelcome descent into innuendo. Unlike some shows, and I include those long-running ones where the stars take home phone-number pay cheques, it's not based around innuendos.
There are the usual peripheral characters that make any sitcom: the whacky best friend whom only one person in the main cast likes (Mimi Rogers), the rejected colleague tolerated at work (Harland Williams) and the supportive ear and shoulder (Kim Coles). Even for these characters, the lines are fabulous and unlike a lot of 1990s' and 2000s' sitcoms, there isn't a trace that the show was written around lines. There are storylines here.
An earlier reviewer pointed out the performances of the children I have to concur that they are delightfully played by John Francis Daley and Makenzie Vega, and my regret is that not every episode struck a good balance between "home Teddie" and "work Teddie".
I am not trying to make this show sound critically distinct or ground-breaking. Far from it. In some ways, it is a throwback to the sitcoms of old, which were genuinely funny. The Geena Davis Show's setting may be different and acceptably modern (single Dad and live-in girlfriendfiancée) but it has more than a few of the ingredients that made The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its ilk snappy and timeless. If given an extra season, it could have become a favourite.