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Big Day

TITLE: BIG DAY - ABC FALL 2006


Info:

Premiere Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2006 (Sony Pictures Television)
Network: ABC
Time: Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. et/pt
Cast: Starring Marla Sokoloff, Josh Cooke, Wendie Malick, Kurt Fuller, Miriam Shor, Stephen Rannazzisi, and Stephnie Weir.


Introduction:

Each season, the show "24" tackles one very, very bad day in the life of a special agent in charge of national security. Starting November 28 ABC will also present one very, very bad day in someone's life... a young couple's wedding day in the beautiful backyard of a family home. And while no one is defusing a nuclear bomb - they're arguing about when the salad is going to be served - the stakes (as anyone who has been through a wedding knows) are just as high.

"Big Day" tells the stories you don't see on the wedding video -- the father who sits his daughter down on the morning of her big day and tells her he really doesn't think she should marry this guy; the bitter bridesmaid older sister who sleeps with the best man and accidentally drinks his contact lenses, which he left in a glass of water on the nightstand, blinding him for the rest of the proceedings; the groomsman who's secretly in love with the groom; the tightly wound mother of the bride who intimidates the nervous wedding planner into changing the salad (the bride's choice, Caesar, is just so tacky!).


Cast Details:

"Big Day" stars Marla Sokoloff as Alice and Josh Cooke as Danny - the blushing bride and groom -- Wendie Malick as Jane, Kurt Fuller as Steve, Miriam Shor as Becca, Stephen Rannazzisi as Skobo and the hilariously nervous Stephnie Weir as Lorna.

Marla Sokoloff (Alice, the bride) is best known for starring as the sassy and trouble-making receptionist, Lucy Hatcher, on David E. Kelly's award-winning series "The Practice." Last fall she had a recurring role on the ABC hit "Desperate Housewives" as Felicity Huffman's cute and bubbly nanny. Sokoloff most recently starred in Jerry Bruckheimer's romantic TV comedy "Modern Men." Other television credits include the ABC family telepic "Christmas in Boston" and guest appearances on such hits as "Friends," the VH1 original trilogy "Strange Frequency," "Full House," "Party of Five," "3rd Rock from the Sun" and "7th Heaven." Film credits include New Line Cinema's dark comedy, "Sugar and Spice," and 20th Century Fox's hit, "Dude Where's My Car?," starring alongside Ashton Kutcher and Sean Willliam Scott. She made her mark in Columbia Tri-Star's "Whatever it Takes."

Josh Cooke (Danny, the groom) was born in Philadelphia and got started in acting when his parents sent him to a day camp at the Walnut Street Theater. A few years later he attended the Broadway Theater Project in Tampa, which was run by Ann Reinking, where he began to seriously consider acting as a career. Josh was a regular on the short lived sitcoms "Four Kings" and "Committed," and has guest starred on popular TV shows ranging from "Curb Your Enthusiasm" to "Dragnet." He has appeared in numerous films, including "Farewell Bender" and "Fade."

Wendie Malick (Jane, the mom) is perhaps best known for her long-running role as Nina Van Horn on the acclaimed comedy "Just Shoot Me," which earned her multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. Prior to her stint on "Just Shoot Me," she appeared as Judith Tupper Stone on the series "Dream On," for which she won four CableACE Awards, and as the recurring character Gayle Buchannon on "Baywatch." She also had a great role on ABC's "Jake in Progress." Feature film work includes "Waiting," "Racing Stripes," the voice of ChiCha in the animated films "The Emperor's New Groove" and its sequel, "The Emperor's New Groove II," "On Edge," "Jerome" and "The American President." Additional television work includes a recurring role as Ronee Lawrence on the comedy "Frasier." She also supplies the voice of Principal Folsom in the popular Disney animated series, "Filmore!"

Kurt Fuller (Steve, the dad) is best known for his work in the films "Wayne's World," with Mike Myers, and "Anger Management," with Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler, although others may know him best as the wacky sheriff who likes to pose in Speedos in "Scary Movie." His numerous film credits include "Auto Focus," "Ray," "Pushing Tin," The Jack Bull" and "Ghostbusters 2." He has been previously a regular "That's My Bush," the television series from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and has recurred and guest starred on over a hundred other TV shows and telefilms, including recent arcs on ABC's "Desperate Housewives," "Boston Legal," "In Justice," and "Alias." Other TV appearances include HBO's "Live from Baghdad" with Michael Keaton and the series "Unscripted" and "Carnivale." On the other networks he was seen recently on "The 4400," "House," "The West Wing," "Monk," "Las Vegas" and "Malcolm in the Middle." Fuller will be seen later this year in two new films, "Mr. Woodstock," with Billy Bob Thornton and Susan Sarandon, and "Pursuit of Happyness," opposite Will Smith.

Miriam Shor (Becca, the sister) was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but moved to Venice, Italy when she was only six months old. It was there that her love of theater started when she saw her first opera at the ripe age of two. She began doing plays in high school and went on to get a BFA in theater/drama, as well as a BA in English from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. From there she moved to New York to pursue a career in the theater. Shor has since appeared in more than half a dozen films, including "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," "Bedazzled" and "Cake Eaters" (currently in post production). She was a series regular on "Inside Schwartz" and "Then Came You," and has guest starred in many TV shows, including "The West Wing" and "My Name Is Earl."

Stephen Rannazzisi (Skobo, groom's best-man) is familiar as a series regular on ABC's "A Day in the Life." He has been featured in a variety of TV shows, from MTV's "Punk'd," where he was a cast member, to "Sex and the City." He has also appeared in numerous plays, including "Pippin" at the Goodrich Theater, "The Importance of Being Ernest" at the Hamblin Arena and "A Christmas Carol" at Theater Three.

Stephnie Weir (Lorna, the wedding planner) was raised in Texas and attended Odessa Junior College, studying theater and broadcasting. She went on to attend Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, were she studied anthropology and women's studies. In Los Angeles Weir spent five seasons as a writer/performer on "MadTV" (her final episodes aired this season). In film she appeared last year in "Fun with Dick and Jane," and she stars in two upcoming independent features, "Moonpie" and "Eden Court." She will soon be seen again on stage in her one-person show entitled "Slowdeatha, TX," at the Comedy Central Stage.


Pilot Plot:

"Pilot"
Tuesday, November 28, 9:00PM ET/PT

The show will present one very, very bad day in someone's life -- the day of a young couple's wedding -- and the stakes are high. Oh, they're not defusing a bomb here. No, it's something worse. Like this life and death choice: Should the salad, as the bride prefers, be Caesar or baby lettuce with pear vinaigrette, as hyper-controlling mom would have it? Chaos, tension and, yes, sex, are everywhere throughout this blessed house, while the frantic and flustered wedding planner dodges not bullets but barbs.

We also received two additional episodes that are slated to air December 5 and December 12:

Tuesday, December 5 at 9 p.m.:
"The World According to Garf" - Mother of the bride Jane has an unexpected orgasm when Danny's free-spirited dad (Stephen Tobolowsky) gives her a foot massage, and a sightless Skobo disses Becca, unaware she is standing in front of him -- so she retaliates.
Guest starring are Stephen Tobolowsky as "The Garf," Terry Chen as Johnny, Leslie Odom. Jr. as Fred and Andrew Friedman as photographer.

Tuesday, December 12 at 9 p.m.:
"Skobo and Alice Hooked Up" -- Becca and Skobo each try to get the other banned from the wedding, and Skobo reveals that, as pre-teens, he and Alice kissed.


Analysis:

The pilot is decent. It has some very fun moments and some blah moments, I think. I love how the groom has his own theme song...and it is none other than the classic theme song from the classic sitcom What's Happening!! -- which happens to be one of my favorite sitcoms of all-time! They reference the show a lot in the pilot, including mentioning some characters and playing the theme! The concept of this show is quite interesting. It will follow the entire wedding day through the season (13 episodes, I think). The pilot episode starts off at 8 a.m. and ends at 8:37 a.m. There is a lot of chaos and funny stuff in that period. I like how the best man slept with the bride's sister. I like the wedding planner--she is very good. Another male friend of the groom's seems to be in love with...the groom. The bride's ex-boyfriend also is invited and he still seems to love Alice and shows it quite openly. And the bride's parents are pretty good...the dad decided this morning that he doesn't want her to marry him, while the bride's mom is bossing everyone around, especially Becca & Lorna (wedding planner). I hate the Caesar salad story line. It just is boring to me, but I'm sure women will like it. There is also some sort of mystery developing, as we hear the bride's mother in the bathroom talking to a mysterious someone at the end of the pilot. The pilot starts the show off well in developing the story. The laughs are here and there, but it is very watchable.

As for the second episode airing. It is titled "The World According to Garf." The episode takes place from 9:43am to 10:16am. So, is there another episode that they made in between this and the pilot? Because the pilot runs from 8-8:37am. I think there is because in the "Earlier on Big Day" segment we see something we don't see in the pilot (a van running over someone). Anyway, this episode is hysterical! The best of the three I have seen by far. The groom's father arrives from a biking marathon--all sweaty and he is quite weird. He gives Alice's mom (Jane) a foot massage...and let's just say something unexpected happens, and it is quite hysterical. Meanwhile, Becca and Skobo battle it out. Becca seems to like Skobo, but Skobo treats her like a one night stand. The blind Skobo is literally blind (he is still contact-less) and is blind in not seeing her love.

Finally, the third episode airing is titled "Skobo and Alice Hooked Up." The episode takes place from 10:31am-11:08am. The episode deals with the weather. Bad weather has moved in and rain is falling. The wedding crew move everything inside and back outside when the rain stops, and again inside when it starts. The wedding planner, Lorna, has lost the seating chart and she really wants the wedding indoors. Meanwhile, Skobo, Alice, Becca, and Danny play a little game to calm the atmosphere because Skobo & Becca continue to go at each other. While playing, a secret revelation is revealed. Pretty funny, but not as funny as the previous episode.


Conclusion:

I think this show is decent. This is what you call a serialized sitcom, though I doubt many people would be lost if they miss an episode or two. It seems ABC is skipping the second episode produced, because the pilot leaves off after 8:38am and the next episode airing starts at 9:43am. The show is for sure interesting. It has some funny moments, but mostly it is just something to watch. It is a good idea to follow an entire day for a season. It has never been done in a sitcom. Jake in Progress was originally going to be something like this, but they retooled it. So what happens if the show is renewed? The show is titled Big Day, so it is likely they will find another 'big day' to follow in the lives of these two for subsequent seasons.

The show will be airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m. starting November 28. It will be repeat free and will mainly air against repeats in December. So, let's hope this show hits because we haven't had a real sitcom hit this season (so as sitcom fans, do NOT root against it). And let's hope Help Me Help You will have the same numbers it had when it had Dancing with the Stars as its lead-in. ABC will for sure take that! (I personally can't wait for The Knights of Prosperity (Wednesdays this January on ABC). I've seen the pilot and it is VERYYY funny...but more on that in that review.)

Finally, please do give this show a try. If you think the pilot is just OK, I really suggest you come back again for the next episode with Danny's dad Garf. That was very funny and people will love that episode. So, don't make it one episode and out for this sitcom. Try the first two episodes and then make your decision...


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Watchability: 4/5
Funniness: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 11/25/06

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