Review: ‘Ellen’

Character has already appeared in some episodes, but is focal point of Mark Driscoll's witty script, as Ellen attempts to

Character has already appeared in some episodes, but is focal point of Mark Driscoll’s witty script, as Ellen attempts to

help the annoyingly chirpy woman (maybe the only person on Earth who actually refers to Sunny Delight breakfast beverage by its blurb nickname of “Sunny D”) find an apartment as far away from Ellen’s Hollywood digs as possible.

Audrey is hard to please, dismissing a huge, lovely Santa Monica guest house: “The damp air; the endless commutes to civilization; the deer, peacocks and rabbits everywhere — I’d rather stay at your apartment.”

Subplots find someone stealing the newspaper from the entrance to neighbor Adam Green’s (Arye Gross) apartment; an attempt to rid the Ellen-owned bookstore of rats by employees Joe Farrell (David Anthony Higgins, whose character is becoming progressively more generic) and Stephanie (Kate Hodge); and — best of all — an attempt to wrest information on controversial but unnamed local murder trial from “Alternate Juror No. 16” (Ken Olandt, seen mainly with a computer-generated blue dot over his face) by Paige Clark (Joely Fisher): “He gave me nothing: he’s honorable and decent and good — I can work him.”

Previous episodes have shown the Ellen character as gawky and downright dumb (would someone who owns a book store not know that “The Marriage of Figaro” is an opera?).

She’s becoming less of a loser, and more appealing; with luck, this story isn’t an aberration.

Ellen

Production

THE APARTMENT HUNT (Wed. (11), 9:30-10 p.m., ABC) Filmed in Los Angeles by the Black/Marlens Co. in association with Touchstone Television. Exec producers, David S. Rosenthal, Warren Bell; supervising producer, Richard Day; producer, Vicki S. Horwits; producers, Tracy Newman, Jonathan Stark, Mark Grossan; associate producer, Frank Merwald; co-producers, Mark Driscoll, Holly Hester; director, Tom Cherones; script, Driscoll.

Crew

Camera, Thom Marshall; editor, Judith A. Burke; production designer, Bill Brzeski; sound, Michael Ballin; music, W.G. Snuffy Walden.

With

Cast: Ellen DeGeneres, Joely Fisher, David Anthony Higgins, Arye Gross, Clea Lewis, Kate Hodge, Ken Olandt, Ralph P. Martin, Marcia Mitzman, Joey Slotnick. Remodeling of "Ellen" from earlier incarnation of "These Friends of Mine" appears at last to be taking shape, as Ellen Morgan (Ellen DeGeneres) acquires a new "friend" in the person of Audrey (Wendy Hodge).
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