In an early seg, at yet another job site, Deb displays her hands-on working technique at a makeup counter, where she’s renegotiating a customer’s budget face repair. She shows pal Anne Marie (Nancy Cassaro) the temp agency ad in a not-so-funny subway scene in which the other passengers join in when Deb gives a rundown on herself. Mazar glitters.
Deb’s trying to rent a Manhattan apartment, but the building manager’s reluctant because of her job record. She lies and tells him she’s working for Silver, goes after the position and pulls off the deal.
Silver assigns Deb her first task: making up a stiff, which may be tasteless but sure shows Mazar’s superior talent for physical humor. Gleason’s character is too busy being outre — reminding of CBS’ high-spirited, promising “High Society,” with expert comedienne Jean Smart.
The stunning Mazar is handed some good lines, has a commanding air and shows how to toss off even a less-than-inspired line with dispatch.
But experienced director James Widdoes paces the entry too fast, and creator Michael Patrick King and fellow writers Vic Rauseo and Linda Morris better shine up the secondary characters. Possibilities are limitless if supporting roles can be whipped into line. The apartment manager (Saverio Guerra), Green’s David, even Cassaro’s Anne Marie need boosting. Program’s “spontaneous” laughter is a distraction and unneeded.
Brandy Alexander’s production designs are appropriate, and Branford Marsalis’ music sets a good pace.
Mazar has the timing and the physical comedy aspects down pat, and she seems to be in what looks like, in her term, a “success-friendly arena.” With any luck and with more sophisticated direction than Widdoes displays here, the sitcom could win its slot.