After seemingly being in the incubator long forever, Miss Guided finally pecked its way out of its mid-season replacement egg and into the barn of primetime television.
I challenge you to come up with a more contrived metaphor.
Moving on. Miss Guided is a single camera comedy focusing on guidance counselor/former high school misfit Becky Freeley. She’s blonde, perky, awkward and full of that kind of blind enthusiasm that just barely masks the exasperated terror underneath.
The rest of the faculty is represented by the sexpot brunette English teacher, the Spanish teacher they’re both fawning after, the grumpy principal and the cartoonish school administrator. All the characters are absurd caricatures, thus spawning outlandish plotlines.
Is it any good? Well, kind of. I’m a hard-ass when it comes to comedy, as you know, and Miss Guided does a lot more things right than a lot of fledgling comedies.
First of all, the cast is pretty strong. I find Judy Greer really riveting, mostly because of her fragility. Even when she was Kitty on Arrested Development, I felt like I wanted to protect her from the world. She was in that M. Night Shyamalan movie The Village (yeah, I know) and in that role I really felt drawn to her — wanting to shield her from the dangers of the world. This is an ideal role for Greer, the beta female with equal parts jittery nervousness and innocent goodwill. She’s got the chops, but sometimes the writing doesn’t seem to live up to Greer’s potential.
As for the rest of the cast, Chris Parnell basically plays the same character he plays on 30 Rock, except instead of a doctor he’s a school administrator. And on one of the opening episodes, they stunt cast Ashton Kutcher (he’s an executive producer) as a “dreamy” bohemian substitute teacher. He was not dreamy. Nor was he hilarious.
Will I keep watching Miss Guided? Probably for a little bit — hoping that it’ll find its voice and turn into the absurdist school faculty comedy it hopes to be. And the vehicle that Judy Greer deserves. Hopefully I won’t just “Eli Stone” it and keep watching it despite having lost interest soon after the premiere.