The Telefile
<i>How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)</i>: Shut Up and Make Me Laugh

If you have trouble making it through an episode of the unrealistic (yet, in my opinion, charming) banter on Happy Endings, I'd be shocked if you were able to tolerate a few minutes of ABC's new How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life). Every character, joke and line of dialogue screams of trying too hard, and the interactive notes on-screen feel like a bad TV trend that we'll look back on in a few years and make fun of ourselves for. All of this is especially a shame, given that the show does have potential.

Let's start with the premise: A down-on-her-luck uptight divorced single mom (Sarah Chalke) moves back in with her crazy mother (Elizabeth Perkins) and stepfather (Brad Garrett), and tries not to completely lose it in the process. Sure, it's not the most original idea in the world, but the comedic possibilities should come easily enough, and the three leads bring with them huge fanbases -- I'm personally indebted to Perkins for making Weeds tolerable for as long as Celia Hodes was on it. The kid on it, Rachel Eggleston (who you may recognize from guest spots of Justified and House), is absolutely adorable as well, so there's not even the child actor excuse.

Instead, How to Live is chock full of over-the-top in archetypes and terrible writing, which I would even say if the writers didn't shoehorn in the world "slut" every other scene. I'm not entirely sure how the TV business works, but if I'd have to guess, Fox, ABC and NBC had to draw straws between this, Ben & Kate and The New Normal in order to fill some kind of a "stressed-out single blonde mom with an endearing daughter who is in over her head and inadvertently enlists the help of her even wackier family and friends, one of whom includes an idiot dude with a golden heart, in hopes of solving her problems" quota, and I'd say that ABC clearly lost out... and I say that knowing full well that Ben & Kate got cancelled and was remarkably overrated.

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