"Hidden Hills" Review
By Shawn McKenzie 10/09/2002
One rule I would suggest sitcom creators follow when creating a new sitcom: If you are going to rip off another sitcom…rip off a good one! NBC’s new sitcom “Hidden Hills” shares many similarities with HBO’s “Mind of the Married Man,” and I still haven’t figured out why they would want to rip off the worst show on HBO.
“Hidden Hills” follows Doug Barber (Justin Louis), a husband and father in suburbia. Janine (Paula Marshall) is his wife. Their friends are Zack (Dondré T. Whitfield) and Sarah (Tamara Taylor) Timmerman. Belinda Slypich (Kristin Bauer) is the new neighbor who creates a stir when it’s discovered that the hot single mom has a porn Web site. Doug has to deal with being a good dad and husband, and he doesn’t feel like he is doing that sometimes. He finds himself tempted by Belinda and he is jealous of his friend Zack’s sex life with his wife Sarah. All of the characters try their hardest to be able to balance marriage, family, and career.
Like most TV critics, I like the single-camera, no laugh track style. I have never thought you needed to be told when to laugh. If something is funny, people will laugh. This show fortunately does have a few laughs.
Those laughs are the main difference between this show and “Mind of the Married Man.” I never laugh when I accidentally catch that HBO show, but “Hidden Hills” does have a few chuckles. I just hope it gets better, because it is by no means the funniest new show this season. There are actually shows with laugh tracks that are funnier!
Now let’s get into the under appreciation of Paula Marshall. She is always the best part of a TV show, even a bad TV show. I loved her in the last season of “Sports Night.” David E. Kelley’s weird action show “Snoops” certainly wasn’t cancelled because of her. The same thing can be said of the very creative and funny hour-long romantic ABC comedy series “Cupid.” Why does she keep getting the short shrift? Oh well. She could easily be the porn mom, because she is not only talented, she is hot! If “Hidden Hills” is cancelled, it won’t be because of her.
The rest of the cast is fine for the roles they were given, and “Hidden Hills” certainly towers in quality over “Mind of the Married Man.” I will tune into the show if I get a chance, but since it is competing with other shows in the busiest hour of the busiest night (8 PM Mountain Time on Tuesdays), I might miss it for one of those better shows.
DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW!
Try to catch this show every week...
If a better show is on, tape this one...
If nothing else is on, maybe this will be good...
If this show is on, change the channel immediately!