Miss/Guided is Right on Target

It’s about freaking time Judy Greer got her own show. She’s been stealing scenes from leading ladies like Jennifer Garner and Katherine Heigl her whole career (when she wasn’t busy showing Jason Bateman her boobs on Arrested Development). Miss/Guided casts Greer as Becky Freeley, a guidance counselor who works at her old high school. It's a 30-minute sitcom, but will be shot with a single camera. Hopefully there will be no laugh track, lest Greer might suffer the same unfortunate fate as Parker Posey on The Return of Jezebel James.

Although the pilot aired last night, getting a boost from the Dancing With the Stars results show (as well as a guest appearance from executive producer Ashton Kutcher), Miss/Guided will normally air on Thursdays at 8:00. It fills the gap left by Ugly Betty. It will be a good tonal match for Ugly Betty's usual audience, but that is a tough time slot for a new show to compete in. Miss/Guided is slotted for an hour this Thursday, but it would be smart for ABC to eventually pair it with Samantha Who?, Christina Applegate’s surprisingly good sitcom from this fall, creating a one-hour block of actress driven comedy.

Since my favorite roles of Greer’s have been characters that are not so likable, I was a little bit concerned that she wouldn’t be able to gracefully make the transition from shrewish second-fiddle to relatable protagonist. However, she’s charming as Becky. Geeky and awkward as a high school student, she tries to counsel her students that it’s okay to be different. But she still kind of wants them to think she’s cool.

The remaining four episodes of the season are scheduled to air in one-hour blocks on March 27 and April 3. I’m torn as to whether I think ABC is trying to give the show a strong start before ordering new episodes, or if they are just burning off the episodes they have in the can to kill time until Ugly Betty has new episodes ready. Or is it simply that with the shortage of 30-minute shows these days, networks simply have to double up episodes because there’s not another show to put in the second half-hour?

I enjoyed Miss/Guided. I hope it’s a hit for Greer. If it’s not, however, I have another idea for a vehicle for her: how about a show based on the life of Shelly, the harried and much maligned Resident Tech from VH1's Celebrity Rehab? You can’t tell me there’s not opportunity for comedy at a rehab facility.

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Amy Kane spends as much quality time with her television as possible, when she's not busy at her day job as a cube dweller.