A few weeks ago, I had the chance to watch the pilot for "In Case of Emergency," a new ABC sitcom debuting Jan. 3 at 9:30 p.m. You can watch a preview of the show on ABC's site, but basically, the comedy follows a group of former high-school classmates realizing that their lives haven't turned out the way they planned. David Arquette plays a disgraced corporate exec; Jonathan Silverman—capitalizing on the neurotic charm that served him well in Weekend at Bernie's—is a divorced greeting card writer; and Kelly Hu is the valedictorian who now works in a "massage parlour" (wink, wink).
If that sounds like a show trying just a bit too hard to be edgy, it is. But in spite of myself, I actually laughed at a few of the one-liners, so
Within the first five minutes of the pilot, I was prepared to hate this show. "In Case of Emergency" is shot like a commercial with a distracting and very Gen X-friendly soundtrack. ("Blister in the Sun" makes an appearance, as does "Under Pressure" by David Bowie and Queen.) Plus, the premise is pretty ridiculous: Would the former valedictorian really be resorting to prostitution? That and other plot twists had me rolling my eyes quite a bit. But occasionally, the show would catch me off guard, such as when Jonathan Silverman's friend chastises him for letting a "whore" (Hu) watch his kid:
“Oh please, we’re all whores. I was gonna be Kurt Vonnegut, and now I write greeting cards.”
Jokes like that—and the promising cast—make me want to give this show a chance. Plus, I like the idea behind the title: How do we get to be young professional adults with no one to list "in case of emergency" but our parents? I'll tune in for a few episodes after the pilot and let you know what I think.