EW description: “Flashback! Nineties sitcom mainstays Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence star as a local politician and the manny she employs in this disarming comedy.”
Full disclosure: I wanted to hate this show so incredibly much. When I think of most ABC Family shows, I think of sickly sweet bullshit like 7th Heaven. I suppose they are getting cooler with their Gilmore Girls and That ’70s Show reruns. Plus, they’re showing Friday Night Lights in syndication and I will love them forever for supplying my Matt Saracen addiction.
Anyway, I wanted to hate this show. Melissa Joan Hart was decent on Clarissa Explains It All and Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, but neither of those were especially memorable shows. Joey Lawrence was awesome on Brotherly Love, but once again, nothing terribly special about it. All three of those shows were very important to me in my childhood, but going back and watching a lot of other shows which also were favorites of mine, they did not stand up over time.
So, when I sat down at the front desk and started watching the pilot, I was shocked to find myself genuinely laughing out loud at times. I mean, the show is basically Who’s the Boss meets Raising Helen, which doesn’t sound especially good, but there’s just something about it that is really charming.
I finished the first episode and found myself wanting more. Now, I’m three episodes in and convincing myself I cannot add another show to my already too-long TV schedule for the semester. However, now that I have a DVR again, this show might just become one of my regulars. Everything about the premise tells me I shouldn’t like this show, that it’s too cliche and unoriginal, but it’s executed wonderfully. The two actors playing the niece and nephew are really funny and not too cloying. The actress who plays MJH’s assistant has excellent banter with Hart. And MJH and Lawrence really do have great chemistry.
All in all, Melissa & Joey was a very pleasant surprise.