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  • Whenever I see critiques that are split between very good reviews and very bad reviews, with nothing in between, I know that the show is worth watching, the book is worth reading, the politician is worth listening to. So it is with Life with Bonnie.

    It follows in the tradition of the very best of family comedy - from I Love Lucy to the Dick Van Dyke Show to Eight is Enough to Mr. Belvedere. Unfortunately, the form has been in short supply for the past decade, replaced by the work place comedy and the room mate comedy - forms that allow for more shock, controversy, sexual innuendo & raunch.

    Those who want cutting edge comedy that cuts to the quick will not be amused by this gentle, classy sitcom.

    However, if you want a show that you can watch with your 14 year old daughter and 10 year old son on one side, your husband, next to you, along with your 60 year old father and your 83 year old grandmother, this show is for you. You'll find that you are all laughing at the same things.

    The humor is a kind humor that is based in age old comedy. It is not at someone's expense. The improv segments add a spontaneity. You are invited to laugh with the characters - & with the actors themselves. It is simply funny stuff for those who love a classic kind of comedy that has been out of fashion.
  • This is a truly enjoyable, heartwarming and uniquely funny sitcom. Bonnie plays a mother who hosts a talk show. While chaos is happening all around her, in her homelife as well as on her job, she brings humor to the crazy situations. While a little far-fetched, it always makes me smile. Bonnie Hunt is simply adorable and the cast "make it work."
  • This wonderful show is an oasis in a sea of offensive and tasteless prime time programming. The majority of the network shows now rely on sex, shock, sex, dysfunctional families, gory violence, sex, obnoxious and disrespectful children, crude language, and sex...instead of good and clever writing. Bonnie isn't complicated; it showcases a loving family (they really still DO exist!); the cast is exceptionally talented, quirky, funny, and lovable; and the writing won't offend or disappoint. This show holds up and exhibits high standards. Also...DO rent Bonnie Hunt's movie "Return to Me"...it is wonderful!
  • I just got done watching the pilot episode of "Life with Bonnie" and I must say it is a very funny show. The lines are delivered at an incredibly fast rate, but it is done in a very funny way. Bonnie Hunt plays a TV talk show host who leads a very hectic and stressful life. There aren't many new sitcoms out there that last, but this one should last as it is perfectly cast and well acted.
  • I really like this show! The actors, plot, and the actual acting, is wonderful! This show focuses on Bonnie, a wife, mother of 3 and television talk show personality. This show focuses on Bonnie and her husband trying to juggle the kids, their jobs and still finding time for themselves. This show is very life like and very very funny! I enjoy it very much and the cute little neighbor Franky who never leaves helps it as well. The kids also act well for their ages! I recommend this show mostly to women but kids would like it too. In the end this show is great! 5 out of 5 stars! Highly Recommended!
  • how in God's name can programmers retain such dreck as "Yes, Dear" and "Hope and Faith" yet cancel a creative and charming sitcom such as LWB? The mind boggles. It's been a few seasons since it's untimely demise, and, while there were flawed elements, and Bonnie may have been a little self-indulgent at times, the actors' joy at simply being on the air and working together was infectious. The cast was like an improv group and might as well have been called the "bonnie players", since quite a few of the cast had appeared together in one Hunt vehicle or another. If there has ever been a better Halloween episode conjured up for television, I challenge the reader to compare it to the episode in which the cast performs as characters from "The Wizard of Oz", a truly brilliant send up, and one that will forever be kept in my library to be replayed each Halloween. LWB, as under-rated though it was, developed a core audience that enjoyed the writing, improv and good cheer that each episode brought. It is sorely missed, and hopefully will wind up on DVD.
  • hitmouse16 October 2002
    I caught an episode while channel surfing away from Frasier...and was impressed and intrigued that I forgot to change back!

    There was a long interchange between Bonnie and costar Mark Derwin that I am sure was semi-improvised. If it wasn't then kudos to all for such wonderful performances.

    I was just as impressed with the subsequent episode. Looks like I'll be running a tape on Tuesday nights.
  • Simply put, Bonnie Hunt is brilliant. She is at her best when she is writing as well performing. Her performances in Return to Me, The Building, The Bonnie Hunt Show and now Life Wife Bonnie are amazing

    I agree with the previous poster who said that Bonnie's method is to use characters to drive her plot, not a `must see' one-liner after another. Audiences didn't get it on her last outings, and though both were critically hailed, the audience doesn't like to wait for a laugh. The scene in the second episode where little Charlie Stewart and Bonnie had their exchange about the gym shorts was brilliant. When he raised his hand and said `whatever,' I my sides nearly burst. Plus, I swear it was all improv.

    Now that Bonnie is in her late 30's, it makes sense for her set herself in a family situation. Bonnie must be one of the most loyal people in show business. First, in 1993, CBS offered to renew The Building with significant cast changes. Bonnie said no, because she didn't want to `dis' her friends. And if you have followed her career, you will see that Holily Wortell, Don Lake, Tom Virtue, David Alan Grier, Mark Derwin and more are in project after project with her.

    I wish Bonnie and her crew all of the success in the world - it's high time that the rest of the world recognizes her.

    If you haven't seen Return to Me, please do yourself a favor and rent it tonight. I cried during the first ½ hour then laughed at the rest.

    I also must say that I was no fan of David Duchovny before Return to Me, thinking that he was just a snobbish personality. Once I saw his performance in RTM, I became a fan. Anyone who can deliver that kind of performance can't be all bad!

    One interesting side note is that Life With Bonnie is preceded on ABC by According to Jim - Jim Belushi played Bonnie's husband in Return to Me. And, it's followed by Less Than Perfect, which stars Sara Rue, who 12 years ago played Edda Passetti on Grand as part of the ensemble cast with featured Bonnie as a neurotic heiress.

    Finally, Bonnie brought the equally brilliant Carroll O'Connor's final performance to the screen. His work in RTM made me remember what a national treasure he was.

    Go get 'em Bonnie!
  • After watching the premiere episode of Bonnie Hunt's new sitcom, I have to say I enjoyed it even more than I expected to. Smart and funny like her previous sitcoms, "The Building" and "Bonnie", "Life with Bonnie" is sure to take fans on a hilarious ride. I'm thrilled that she's re-teamed with "Bonnie" co-star Mark Derwin, and I hope that they focus more on the familial relationships and the Molloy's marriage in future episodes. The strength of this show lies in a terrific cast and the courageous genius of using improv in the "show within a show" scenes. This show is a gem. It has such potential, I can't wait for the next episode!
  • Life with Bonnie is a show worth saving from cancellation. It has a great cast with the great Bonnie Hunt, talented David Alan Grier, hunky Mark Derwin, and the wonderful Marianne Meulleruex. The other supporting cast members are also worth mentioning especially Holly. The supporting cast is an excellent ensemble. This show is an ensemble show with each actor doing excellent work. Like the show's theme, it is old fashioned wholesome comedy. It would be a terrible shame for ABC to allow this show to be cancelled after two seasons on the air. I hope some network will come and save this show from permanent cancellation. ABC does not know what it has until it's gone permanently. Until Hope & Faith came on, Bonnie's show was the Friday night anchor for wholesome family comedies. Bonnie Hunt is one of the nicest people in Hollywood. She has reunited with Mark and Marianne Meullereux who worked with her previously in other shows. I just can't understand why this show can't survive after all. Bonnie Hunt has been nominated for Golden Globe Award. While she is in the category with cast members of Sex in the City, she stands out for being wholesome, clean, wonderfully charming, and delightful to watch. Her show has garnered emmy nominations for Jonathan Winters and David Duchovny. She is a giving person. I have noticed she always sets her shows in Chicago as her main setting. I enjoyed the recent episodes with David Alan Grier living in the house with him. I am sorry that this show is going. I wish ABC reconsider!

    My best wishes to Bonnie Hunt and to everybody else in the cast and crew!
  • Bonnie Hunt is a national treasure. She and her friend funnyman Don Lake creates a show with Bonnie as a local TV host and a minor local celebrity, if they actually remember her name. The show centers on the local TV show that allows a guest star to really shine. Then there's a home front where things are much more sitcom.

    The show is best when the special guests are allowed to do wacky improvised characters like David Duchovny who played Johnny Volcano. Sometimes they even bring in some oldtimers like Carl Reiner and Rip Taylor. It's just fun to see them.

    The home front is much more traditional and not as special. And then for some reason, the daughter disappears (probably for contractual reason) which didn't help.
  • What amazes me is that the reason given for getting rid of this show is that the network was aiming for young males, ages 19 - 25 and it didn't appeal to this demographic. Not according to my two sons who were 21 & 19 when it started and it was the one show they always wanted to watch with my mom and I. My 21 year-old made a point of coming up to watch it every Friday night because everyone had a really good chuckle. It was one of the few decent shows on T.V. In Tony's words, "Not anymore!". I am totally disgusted with our nasty options for television viewing now. You've lost two viewers - nothing but trash fit for only the sewer. The only show on now that I would put in a good light is 'Monk' and that's on cable which we don't have. Thanks for putting human intelligence in the gutter ABC!
  • I fell in love with the TV comedy "Life With Bonnie" when it first aired on the TV. Later, when I found out that the show went off the air, I became upset. I know that it was only a TV series, but some of the other shows that they have on now just don't compare to hers. She's such a funny and sincere actress that I love to watch her act in some of the movies she stars in such as "Return To Me" which is my absolute favorite and "Jumanji". I just don't understand why the network took her show off the air. Was it that some of the audience didn't like it? I always thought that her TV family sort of reminded me of my family. I still can remember one episode where her TV husband told everyone that someone was coming over to pick something up and she raced around the house tidying it up a bit. I remember telling my parents and grandmother that sounded like something that we would do. Telling her daughter to get on the piano and her son to go and play with his friend and the, I guess she played the maid, to help her clean the house. That episode will always be in the corner of my mind and I will always have a good laugh thinking of it.
  • I think she added some fun to the show, I feel bad that she is gone. Maybe she can be written back in please. I really think if they had given Sam a friend as well that would have been nice. Charlie has Frankie to pal around with. I just thought that the show was more interesting also having to juggle with three kids instead of two.
  • I am absolutely thrilled to see that Bonnie Hunt's 5th effort to land a series is looking more and more successful on ABC. She is one of the most gifted comedic actresses on the planet as well as a superb writer and improvisational expert!!! I am doubly excited to see Don Lake involved as well...another one of the great comic talents and Marianne Muelerlile as well!!!!! People, watch this one...smart comedy with heart. Even John Ritter's new show is a great lead-in!!! I wasn't expecting to like it as much, but having a teenage daughter, I could totally relate! Congrats to all concerned!
  • I loved the second show, Duchovney was hysterical. In the morning show segment DAG and Bonnie and Duchovney took a big chance on some very funny moments. The morning scenes at Bonnies house rang true and the redheaded kid is a prize. I know this show will take off. Looking forward to the third show!
  • This show has absolutely no humor. The characters are bland. Plots are directionless with rambling, pointless dialogue. The ad-libbing is awkward. Bonnie Hunt, herself, looks bored.

    In one episode, the husband was nagging Bonnie (in a condescending manner), during the whole first act, about neglectful check-book keeping. I kept waiting for a punch line but after 8 minutes I expected to hear the husband ask for a divorce. Then Jonathon Winters ad-libbed some lines with Bonnie and the repore was so bad, I was embarrassed for him. At the end, the husband apparently forgave her for her dereliction of competent finances and they began kissing in bed. Loud, long, wet kissing. Yuck. (This has become a tradition on this show).

    I tuned in the following week just to see if the show had gotten better. Nope. More rambling, more dull ad-libbing, more super sloppy kissing.

    How this show can get big name cameos is a mystery to me. I hope it isn't because they need the money.

    How Bonnie Hunt got yet another TV show is even more of a mystery. I confess that I don't know much about her but I know she's failed at TV headlining several times before.

    Personal to Bonnie: lose the horn-rimmed glasses!
  • I just needed to get that off my chest! ...in fact so much better than the next best sitcom that it's not worth

    trying to calculate. But depending on your opinion of the other

    shows, that may or may not be saying much. Let me put my

    opinion in a historical perspective and say that "Life with Bonnie" is

    one of the best sitcoms EVER on Television! It's "Cosby Show"

    good! It's "Happy Days" good! It's "Dick Van Dyke Show" good! It's

    call all your friends, send e-mail, program your VCR and buy extra

    tapes good! You know the type of good I'm talking about... so good

    they couldn't copy it if they tried?! Perhaps the people responsible

    for this show should have some decision making in all ABC

    sitcoms because this show is BUY DISNEY STOCK GOOD!! Am I

    making my point?!

    Watching "Life with Bonnie" causes you to have a gentle smile for

    at least 22 minutes of that hour. That is except for when you are in

    the middle of a belly-laugh, or, when the writers want you to feel

    sentiment thick enough to make you fight back tears. It's so

    original, so clever, honest, sweet and hilarious all that the same

    time! There are movie comedies that aren't as good as this show.

    It's far far better than "Friends," because the whole family can

    watch it. It's better than "...Raymond" or "Frasier" because it's

    characters remain consistent, and the comedy is never at the

    expense of one character's misery. These shows are often quite

    good, but just not in the same league as "Bonnie." I was sad to

    see Ms. Hunt's last show cancelled, but if only I knew ABC was

    going sneak Ms Hunt away from CBS and launch this show I'd

    never would have shed a tear. "The Bonnie Hunt Show" was

    excellent, but this new show is simply the best! Everyone I know

    who knows anything about quality TV loves this show!

    Let me just close on this note. It may not have "Seinfeld's"

    numbers 'cause there's just so much else on TV (none of it as

    good, just so much to choose from), but make no mistake, this

    show is a rare gem that will forever be remembered as one of the

    great high-water marks of TV comedy.
  • I want to thank the writers, actors and director of "Life with Bonnie" for coming up with a truly hilarious show!!!! I have through the years successfully chosen every hit comedy in it's early stages and this one is definitely a winner. It hits home on so many levels but Bonnie is in rare form as she juggles her many roles in life. Maybe as a baby boomer I'm just completely relating with her, I only wish my real life were that funny. The cast is perfect--Gloria the housekeeper is an incredible addition, but the piano player, the make up girl and the stage hand are very well chosen also. Gotta love David A Greer in anything he does but he's perfect for the uptight manager. Anyway, give this show a shot, you'll fall in love with it. It's got tons and tons of long term potential. Love the impromtu humor. THe episode with Robin Williams was priceless and the funeral show was a classic.

    Hope the higher ups are listening, this show is going to make it. Thanks, Barb Harpole
  • The intitial negative critics are now proven wrong! "Life with Bonnie" is here to stay. Rising up the ratings chart, the show has proven it's combination of subtle "stick together" message, and balls out funny improvistation from Bonnie Hunt, David Alan Grier, and the rest of the cast is a hit with Tuesday night fans. The episodes that followed the first two showed a steady stream of starpower including Kevin Pollack, David Duchovney, building to Tom Hanks that brought wit, romance, and flat out funny shows that showcased Bonnie and her guests. This show is guaranteed a slot on next years line-up! So there! "Life with Bonnie" stays!
  • I am an unabashed Bonnie Hunt fan and was glad to see that ABC had picked up her sitcom last fall. Ms. Hunt is a talented performer and witty raconteur. She is one of a select few guests that can actually hold David Letterman's attention span for longer than a NY minute as well as elicit sincere appreciation from the current king of late night fare.

    Therefore, it truly pains me to have to agree with previous reviewers of "Life with Bonnie." The show just doesn't mesh, and at times can be downright boring. Actually, I enjoy when cast members Tony Russell, David Alan Grier and Hunt, along with their eclectic guests, ad lib during "The Morning Show" segments. However, that's about all I can say good about the show.

    Will revamping and new writers help? Definitely. Will ABC give "Life with Bonnie" a second chance? Unlikely. And, that's too bad. Because network TV has very few intelligent, likable and down to earth stars such as Bonnie Hunt. Our loss.
  • "Life with Bonnie" is a great show; however, don't watch it if you don't have a sophisticated or odd sense of humor. I would imagine that those posting negative comments on this show simply don't understand humor and would be more receptive if the show used the "pie in the face" form of humor. If you enjoy David Letterman you will enjoy "Bonnie". If you enjoy "I Love Lucy" or Saturday morning cartoons you will NOT enjoy Bonnie.
  • There is a reason why Bonnie Hunt's previous series didn't last ... there was a certain lack of any "there" there. She has talent, has an interesting off center p.o.v., but at times you get the idea that everything is just an inside joke mostly for the actors' amusement (many whom went from show to show, e.g., Bonnie Hunt's friend Holly followed her along, and her now husband played someone she was in love with on a past show of hers). This is shown here by a lot of ad libbing (especially by guest stars, who are sometimes amusing, sometimes not) and steady as you go scenes that sometimes just don't work.

    This show has a few annoying characters ... the son is just too cutesy (ditto his friend), the piano player is just annoying as is the housekeeper (who does less work than Alice). The daughter, who actually was enjoyable, for some reason wasn't in many episodes this season. More time for the annoyingly cute son? The station owner (Carl Reiner, again not funny -- he wasn't that funny on The Dick Van Dyke Show [admit it], but he is surely a historical figure on t.v. ... doesn't make his lame appearances more enjoyable) is another one I can do without.

    A show you want to like more than you do, it's a good fit on Friday nights... with other nice enough comedies that aren't really that funny, but you watch them, since they are nice and all.
  • Network: ABC; Genre: Sitcom; Content Rating: TV-G; Classification: Contemporary (star range: 1 - 4)

    Season Reviewed: Complete Series (2 seasons)

    You could call 'Life with Bonnie' a respectable failure - I'd like to if it wasn't such a self-indulgent star vehicle. It's a show that longs to return to the days where sitcoms where family friendly and inspired talk around the water-cooler with simple zaniness. But it's also an attempt to insert Bonnie Hunt as the Lucille Ball for a new generation - by no one other than Hunt herself. Canned studio audience applause can be heard as the intro comes up (an old fashioned montage of the faces of its cast) and it's gags are lengthy set pieces of 'Lucy' inspired physical comedy. It marks, I believe, the 3rd attempt to launch Bonnie Hunt as a network sitcom star (after 'The Bonnie Hunt Show' and 'Bonnie'). I adore Bonnie Hunt in movies, and she certainly has a misguided Michael Essany-like tenacity toward her shows. But all of them have been pretty much the same, making me wonder if Hunt knows the definition of insanity.

    Watching the show you get an odd sense about it. And I don't mean just the non-stop parade of celebrity guest stars (from David Duchovney to Johnathan Winters) that lend their names and faces to Hunt's marquee each week. Watching it you get a strange sense that it is unable to control itself. The comedy bits wander on, long past the point where the concept was even funny. As if Hunt is trying desperately to make it work and won't stop until it does. As if the production is constantly on the verge of loosing control of the reigns entirely and spinning into an all-out mess. Sometimes, it actually happens. 'Life' pitches itself around one idea and then scrambles feverishly to stretch it out. The stories have no focus and often times no ending. I'm not asking for tightly wound resolutions, just something. Some level of coherence or sense of purpose.

    Learning that the show is almost entirely improvised certainly explains things. I set-up the tone before mentioning this well known fact because improve comedies can be brilliant. But it has to feel real and 'Life' looks and feels completely phony even without knowing this. Learning, for example, that 'Freaks and Geeks' was often improved floored me, because that show seems so natural. That's what's missing in the strained slapstick and forced laughs of 'Life'. The escapades are made all the more unwatchable by an audience (or laugh track, although I doubt hunt wouldn't do this without audience feedback) that that squeals with laughter constantly, often at nothing at all.

    It's a high-wire act and a good idea, but like any high-wire act it is either a big hit or a big miss. It's a gutsy gamble. Had it worked we'd be singing Hunt's praises as a comic genius, but it doesn't. And in the process Hunt pulls down everyone with it, including a talented David Allan Grier who could easily outshine Hunt if given the opportunity.

    Early on, Hunt decided this was going to be her baby come hell or high water, firing the writing staff and revamping the series in this format mid-way through season 1. She casts herself as star, principle writer, producer and director. Wow! The show comes complete with over-the-credit outtakes where we even get to see Hunt directing herself. Well, at least she went down as the captain of this ship.

    *
  • I too would like to add to the growing list of discontent in not liking the so-called 'hit' comedy 'Life with Bonnie.' First of all, how can ABC claim it is a hit when it is so low in ratings, and is in last place against all the other networks for its show time of 9pm? I give it a definite two thumbs down. I have tried to watch it several times, but each and every time ended up turning it off, as it was so bad. And it seems a repeat of the same boring show week after week with just a few changes made, and of course the unending parade of tiresome 'guest' stars. I cannot believe that ABC is allowing this show on air at all. It has gone downhill since the last time I saw it a few weeks ago. Obviously it shows how desperate ABC is to continue to air this non-funny comedy, and how ABC continues to fail in their programming ideas. No wonder ABC is in last place when this is one of their 'hit' shows. The 'show' part of the show is just deplorable, no humor, and never makes any sense whatsoever. What is the point in it? And those kids really need elocution lessons; I can hardly ever understand a word any of them says. And her husband, played by Mr. Derwin, to me has no chemistry with Ms. Hunt, she seems uneasy every time they do any sort of intimate touches, and they are supposed to be married? Send him back to daytime where he obviously belongs. Don't see the love there at all, only friction. And, why should I feel sorry for a mother who only works two hours a day on a talk show, which means TV high salaries, not minimum wage, has a doctor as a husband, and a housekeeper? There is no way to identify with this character of Bonnie. I didn't even think that Carl Reiner was that special. Is this show merely a chance to give a paycheck to some in Hollywood, such as her endless parade of friends? If so, where do I sign up? Ms. Hunt should consider just doing film work, as she seems far better at that than primetime comedy.

    Also, why does Ms. Hunt wear the same black outfit each time I see her? Whether she is in a picture, on the show, or on a talk show touting her show, is ABC only giving her enough money for one outfit to wear? This show only spells disaster to me, which is sad since I have really liked Ms. Hunt in movies. I have totally given up on this boring 'hit', and I won't make the mistake of trying to give it another chance, as it is a total waste of my time. If ABC continues to give it 'Life' then how sad is this network- ABC shame on you once again. Let Hunt do movies where I can really enjoy her as I have many times in the past- this medium is not for her, because I don't enjoy her on TV at all.
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