×

I’m With Her

Teri Polo and David Sutcliffe provide a winning chemistry in the first two episodes, which could be enough to attract significant ratings in the hammock between "8 Simple Rules" and "According to Jim." Otherwise, this love-at-first-sight sitcom about the romance between an actress and a teacher relies on all-obvious jokes and situations.

With:
Alex Young - Teri Polo Patrick Owen - David Sutcliffe Stevie Hanson - Danny Comden Cheri Baldzikowski - Rhea Seehorn

Teri Polo and David Sutcliffe provide a winning chemistry in the first two episodes of “I’m With Her,” which could be enough to attract significant ratings in the hammock between “8 Simple Rules” and “According to Jim.” Otherwise, this love-at-first-sight sitcom about the romance between an actress and a teacher relies on all-obvious jokes and situations.

Based loosely on creator Chris Henchy’s relationship with Brooke Shields, “I’m With Her” gets down to business quickly with the meet-cute between Sutcliffe’s Patrick Owen and Polo’s Alex Young. The two are instantly smitten with each other — she is, of course, willing to give anything a try and he’s the hesitant one, figuring she’s out of his league.

As the stories play out in the pilot and “Smarty Party” eps — with a better than average number of smart one-liners — “I’m With Her” clearly intends to make smart teacher-dumb blonde its bread and butter. Owen is not only committed to teaching high school, his dating past is apparently populated by even more studious women. Young has more contrasting sides: her love life has been fodder for tabloids, but a love of dogs and charitable heart give her down-to-earth qualities. It’s his uneasiness over her lifestyle vs. her absence of book knowledge that drives the humor.

The two have their far less-complicated comrades: Fellow teacher Stevie (Danny Comden), who asks Owen to sleep with Young and then tell him about it — need we say more? — and Young’s sister/housemate Cheri (Rhea Seehorn), who sees the different success levels between the two siblings as the case of who got the nose job. Cheri gets a fair share of Hollywood in-jokes that might not play as well as they do locally. Stevie, with his untucked shirts and lack of ethics, will be the bane of teachers everywhere.

By the end of the second episode, it’s clear Owen and Young will be making a go of it as a couple. Sutcliffe and Polo are great to watch during the chase, but one has to wonder if they can be as engaging as a couple without silly trifles splitting them apart. They’re at their best onscreen together and, like the shows that surround it, there’s a pleasant undercurrent about maintaining healthy relationships.

Polo’s weakest acting moment comes when Young is feeling sorry for herself and decides to make herself smarter. Similarly, Sutcliffe brings “I’m With Her” to a crawl when he’s left by his lonesome to make a decision. Scribes need to bring the supporting duo into fish-out-of-water situations as well to elicit laughs that don’t come at the expense of the movie star. Those jokes have already played out.

Popular on Variety

I'm With Her

Series; ABC; Tue., Sept. 23; 8:30 p.m.

Production: Filmed in Los Angeles by Tollin/Robbins Prods. and Warner Bros. Television Production. Executive producers, Marco Pennette, Chris Henchy, Mike Tollin, Brian Robbins, Joe Davola, Jack Burditt; producer, Faye Oshima Belyeu; director, Ted Wass; writers, Henchy, Pennette;

Crew: camera, Jim Roberson; production designer, Michael Hynes; casting, Jeff Greenberg 30 MIN.

Cast: Alex Young - Teri Polo Patrick Owen - David Sutcliffe Stevie Hanson - Danny Comden Cheri Baldzikowski - Rhea Seehorn

More TV

  • The First -- "The Choice" -

    Sean Penn Drama 'The First' Was 'Unrelatable' to British Audiences, Channel 4 Exec Says

    Channel 4’s director of programs Ian Katz says the British broadcaster has learned a good lesson from the failure last year of its big-budget Hulu co-production “The First” to resonate with U.K. audiences. Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Katz described the Sean Penn-starring drama about a mission to Mars as a “really classy piece [...]

  • Hugh Laurie

    Hugh Laurie to Star in New BBC Thriller 'Roadkill' by David Hare

    Hugh Laurie, the Golden Globe-winning star of “House” and “The Night Manager,” will play a beleaguered politician in a new four-part thriller for the BBC, “Roadkill,” from acclaimed playwright and screenwriter David Hare. The series is being produced by The Forge (“Collateral”). Laurie stars as Peter Laurence, a charismatic Conservative Party government minister who remains [...]

  • Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth WarrenSecond 2020

    ABC News Sets Moderators, Rules for Third Democratic Debate

    ABC News has announced the moderators for the third Democratic debate, as well as the qualification rules. The debate will be held on Thursday, Sept. 12, and will spill over to Friday, Sept. 13 if more than 10 candidates qualify. The moderating team will consist of chief anchor George Stephanopoulos, “World News Tonight” anchor and [...]

  • James Corden Paul McCartney Carpool Karaoke

    James Corden Got a Little Help From Paul McCartney on His Drive to the Emmys

    Saying “Baby, I could drive your car” has proven to be a very good strategy for James Corden — never more so than when he put Paul McCartney into the highly sought passenger seat. The primetime special “Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney, Live From Liverpool” is a contender in five Emmy categories this year, [...]

  • Starz Logo

    Starz Orders Horror Comedy Pilot 'Shining Vale'

    Starz has put out a pilot order for “Shining Vale,” a horror comedy which hails from “Divorce” creator Sharon Horgan and “Trial & Error” co-creator Jeff Astrof. The prospective series is about a dysfunctional family that moves from the city to a small town into a house in which terrible atrocities have taken place. But no one [...]

  • Bethenny Frankel at the showtime Emmy

    Bethenny Frankel to Exit 'Real Housewives of New York' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bethenny Frankel is stepping away from the “Real Housewives” franchise. Variety has learned exclusively that Frankel is poised to exit Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New York” ahead of its upcoming twelfth season. Frankel first joined the acclaimed reality series back when it premiered back in 2008 before exiting the series in 2010 during the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content