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TV Preview: "Notes From the Underbelly"

TV Preview: "Notes From the Underbelly"

I'm utterly ambivalent about ABC's new comedy, "Notes From the Underbelly," which premieres tonight at 10 p.m. before moving to its regular Wednesday time slot. And maybe that's appropriate, because the show is about the utter ambivalence its main characters feel toward having a child. Based on a novel by Risa Green, the show focuses on Andrew (Peter Cambor) and Lauren (Jennifer Westfeldt), who want to have a baby before it's too late, then — after quickly getting pregnant — immediately decide it's too soon.

"Notes" isn't terrible; there were a lot of moments I liked in the first three episodes, and it's amusing, if not laugh-out-loud funny. But overall, the show seems flat, with one-dimensional supporting characters and jokes that don't quite hit the mark.

The best part about "Notes" is the central couple, who view parenthood with a mix of curiosity, excitement and total dread. Lauren is by far the show's most interesting character, mocking her pregnant friends' over-the-top doting while longing, at least a little, to be one of those moms herself. But "Notes" falls apart with its stereotypical supporting characters, so

Lauren's shrieky pregnant friend, Julie, is supposed to be overbearing, but she's far too obnoxious to be funny. The aggressively single friend, Cooper, is well-played by "Daily Show" alum Rachael Harris, but even she is written thinly; her "career gal" characterization consists of little more than a power suit, a Palm Pilot, and a pair of glasses. Andrew's guy friend is even worse: The sitcom sidekick is supposed to be there for laughs, but his jokes miss the mark.

"Notes" also seems too limited to be a TV show. After all, what happens when Andrew and Lauren's baby is born? Frankly, I don't think "Notes" will be around long enough to face that problem. Check out this clip and let me know: Will you be watching?

Photo copyright 2007 ABC, Inc.

Join The Conversation
SexyNeverLeft78 SexyNeverLeft78 10 years
I like it as well. Cooper is a trip.
JennyJen2 JennyJen2 10 years
I thought it was cute. And remeber everyone thought Prison break wouldn't make it past the first season, but it is still hanging in there. I think it will make it because as Lauren said in the first episode - getting pregnant is now trendy - so there are lots o people who will be draw to this just because they can relate to the main characters. ( Now I will probably be eating crow in a few weeks when it gets canceled, but a girl can hope!)
krampalicious krampalicious 10 years
I watched it and enjoyed it for the most part–there were definitely a few laugh out loud moments that I've been missing in my regular tv lineup. I love Rachael Harris, but I hate that her character on this show is so flat and stereotypical. I'm hoping it sticks around for a while, but I doubt it since ABC is putting it up against AI Results. Kiss of Death, anyone?
dmartinxoxo dmartinxoxo 10 years
i liked it!
Linda-McP Linda-McP 10 years
"Notes" looks cute, but I agree: too limited to be a regular network show.
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