POSTED BY STUART LEVINE
More than ever these days, comedy series show up for five or six episodes and then disappear. Just when you were getting acquainted, they’re gone.
Often, the plan is to just give viewers a half-dozen or so sampling and see if it sticks. More times than not, the show will never be seen from after that. Sometimes it’s because they’re horrible and the network can read the Nielsen tea leaves and yank it before it does any more ratings damage.
Like most new shows, I Tivo’d “Miss Guided” when it aired March 18 and, before I could even watch, my wife and daughter said they loved it and wanted to know what night it would be airing regularly. Though I may not have shared as much enthusiasm as they did, there was a sweetness and relatability to the show that couldn’t be denied.
Everyone’s been in high school and most of us — or at least the people I hang with — weren’t the cool kids or the jocks. It’s impossible not to see a bit of us in Judy Greer’s spot-on Becky Freeley. She’s been a supporting actress for most of her career up until now and she takes the lead here with full-throated comic perfection.
And there’s a roomful of well-done supporting turns, too. Chris Parnell as the closeted gay vice principal, Kristoffer Polaha as Spanish teacher Tim, drop-dead gorgeous Brooke Burns as the drop-dead gorgeous cheerleader who’s come back to teach and raise Becky’s ire again, and Earl Billings as is-retirement-here-yet Principal Huffy.
Certainly, low viewer totals were not what the folks at ABC were hoping for but sometimes shows deserve a longer fate than the Niesen gods are willing to allow. Exec producers Todd Holland (“Malcolm in the Middle”) and Ashton Kutcher (“Beauty and the Geek,” “Punk’d”) have shown they know what it takes to make a show that’s built to last.
ABC would be wise to give them the chance to prove it again.