Review: ‘Just Shoot Me’

Writer Steven Levitan has cooked up a likable, funny arrangement in which likable, mellow-voiced Laura San Giacomo ("sex, lies and videotape") plays the estranged daughter of well-cast Jack Gallo (George Segal), publisher of Blush, fancy girlie mag that not only makes money but provides fodder for good humor. Levitan knows his oats. Maya Gallo (San Giacomo), ankling her job as a TV news writer, stops by her dad's dame-clogged office to borrow some dough. Anonymous to the staff, she's snubbed by Jack Gallo's slick right-hander, ambitious aide Finch (David Spade), and by flourishing, snooty fashion editor Nina Van Horn (Wendie Malick), backbiters until they learn who Maya is. Where butter wouldn't spread, it now melts.

Jack tries coaxing Maya to write an article for the mag to pay off the loan she wants, but Maya won’t even read the razzmatazz mag. Jack, now married to one of Maya’s less-than-bright classmates (she’s his fourth wife) and Levitan pull some fancy footwork to set up the inevitable: Maya goes to work at Blush.

Levitan and the two lead actors, abetted by deft director Philip Charles MacKenzie and a strong cast of supporting players, have delivered a promising first show. The opening sequence at the TV station, where Maya passively takes on a shallow-brained TV newscaster (Emily Procter), is cheering, and Blush’s dry receptionist’s (Donna Ponterotto) put-down of power-mad Finch shows a weather eye for amusing details.

The comic timing by limber Malick and by SNL’s Spade, Segal’s nifty interp of Gallo, the warm self-assurance of San Giacomo and a bright premise concocted by Levitan and director MacKenzie add up to something worth checking out — and something blessed with a future.

Just Shoot Me

NBC, Tues. March 4, 9:30 p.m.


Filmed at Universal Studios by Brillstein-Grey Communications, Steven Levitan Prods. and Columbia TV. Executive producer-creator-writer, Steven Levitan; executive producers, Brad Grey, Bernie Brillstein; co-executive producers, Stephen Engel, Andrew Gordon, Eileen Conn; producers, Kevin C. Slattery, Erwin More, Brian Medavoy, Gina Rugolo; co-producer, Marsh McCall; director, Philip Charles MacKenzie; camera, Robert Caramico.


Editor, Dennis C. Vejar; production designer, Roy Christopher; art director, Chris Idoine; sound, Doug Nelson; music, John Adair, Steve Hampton, Korbin Kraus; casting, Deborah Barylski, Jonell Dunn.


Cast: Laura San Giacomo, George Segal, Wendie Malick, Enrico Colantoni, Chris Hogan, David Spade, Emily Procter, Dave Clark, Scott N. Stevens, Shannon Maureen Brown, Donna Ponterotto, Raphelle Hink, Joel Traywick.
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