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Maybe It's Me ran from October 2001 until July 2002 on The WB.
This quirky comedy, set in fictional Wickettstown, Rhode Island, centered on Molly ( Reagan Dale Neis), a teenager who had lost a lot of weight over the summer, traded in her glasses for contacts, and had her braces removed. Now she was adjusting to her new svelte, and more popular , image while trying to overcome typical teenage self-consciousness and insecurity. Molly's biggest problem was her family, a collection of strange and offbeat characters. Father Jerry ( Fred Willard) was a loony optometrist obsessed with the high school girls soccer team he coached and mother Mary ( Julia Sweeney) was a perpetually late penny pincher who was oblivious to the eccentricities of the family. Molly's siblings were Grant ( Patrick Levis), who wanted to be a Christian rock star; bad boy Rick ( Andrew W. Walker), who was always in trouble with the cops; and Mindy and Cindy ( Daniella and Deanna Canterman), younger troublemaking identical twin sisters whom even her dad couldn't tell apart. Rounding out the household were Mary's mother Harriet ( Ellen Albertini Dow), who hid food whenever she got upset, and Jerry's father Fred ( Walter Marsh in the pilot and Dabbs Greer in the series), who was always in a bad mood. Mia ( Vicki Davis), Molly's best friend and confidante, had the hots for an oblivious Rick, and Molly was infatuated with Nick ( Shaun Sipos), a senior and a star on the high school football team.
In February at her request, the family staged a funeral for Harriet. At the end of the episode her niece Tillie who had come for the funeral, married Grandpa Fred , who ceased to be a member of the cast. In the spring Molly developed feelings for her friend Ben ( Noah Bastian), and considered asking him to the prom. Meanwhile Rick lost the family home in a card game with a gangster and Molly agreed to go to the prom with the gangster's nerdy son so they could keep the home. She double-dated with brother Grant, whose date was her best friend Mia. Things didn't work out with the nerd, but her Dad won the house back playing poker with the mobster.
Molly who recorded her daily travails in a computer journal, provided voice-over narration for the show.
A Review from Variety
Maybe It's Me
(Series -- The WB; Fri., 8:30 p.m.)
By CAROLE HORST
Filmed by Touchstone TV, Warner Bros. TV and SamJen Prods. in Burbank and Vancouver. Executive producers, Suzanne Martin, Jay Daniel, Jeff Martin; producer, Tony Brown; associate producer, Adam Silverman; director, Bryan Gordon; writer, Suzanne Martin.
Molly Stage - Reagan Dale Neis
Mary Stage - Julia Sweeney
Jerry Stage - Fred Willard
Grant Stage - Patrick Levis
Rick Stage - Andrew Walker
Mindy Stage - Daniella Canterman
Cindy Stage - Deanna Canterman
Mia - Vicki Davis
Grandma Harriet Krupp - Ellen Albertini Dow
Grandpa Fred Stage - Dabbs Greer
Making excellent use of the insightful voiceover narration of "Sex and the City" and the amusing, illuminating thought balloons of "Pop-Up Video," "Maybe It's Me," which follows the travails of 15-year-old Molly, is fresh and fun, and even its scary dip into weepy sentimentality can't unhinge this quirky one-camera sitcom. The WB has assembled a family-friendly Friday night, starting with "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," and "Maybe" is a definite yes as that vet series' lead-out.
Molly Stage (peppy newcomer Reagan Dale Neis) is completely mortified by her family: Clueless but sweet mom Mary (Julia Sweeney); soccer coach dad Jerry (hilarious Fred Willard, channeling his great characters from "Waiting for Guffman" and "Best in Show"); bad-boy older bro Rick (Andrew Walker), who deals in dodgy goods; rocker brother Grant (Patrick Levis), who breaks out into electric Christian ditties at the drop of a guitar pick; and twin terrors Mindy and Cindy (Daniella and Deanna Canterman), whom Dad can't tell apart.
Plus there's extremely off-kilter Grandma Harriet (Ellen Albertini Dow), who likes to hide food, and grouchy Grandpa Fred, who's just, well, grouchy.
First episode, which was the only one available for review, dispatches with exposition brightly and succinctly, letting the simple plot -- Molly hoping to impress a boy so that he asks her out -- roll out briskly, culminating in a disastrous family dinner that narrowly avoids the off-ramp to the mawkish exit but imparts a nice value lesson anyway.
Creator-writer Suzanne Martin ("Frasier"), along with ace exec producers Jay Daniel ("Roseanne," "Cybill") and Jeff Martin ("The Simpsons"), bring a wealth of quality sitcom experience to the show, as well as an off-balance point of view. It's crucial that this POV be maintained, since these offbeat characters, despite their quirks, easily could become cliched.
The cast has fun with the material, and as show's centerpiece, Neis is cute but not too cute; she's sort of like a 3-D Lisa Simpson, able to see how weird her family is, but loving them anyway. Willard and Sweeney seem to delight in their whacked-out characterizations. Tech credits are tops, and show's good look is due to the mobile camera of Michael Grady.
Although show changed in July to current moniker from "Maybe I'm Adopted," old title remains on the Review tape.
A Review from The Post Gazette
'Maybe' we're amazed: WB has finally come up with a funny sitcom
Friday, September 14, 2001
By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor
Editor's note: Late yesterday The WB announced it will postpone the premieres of its new programs that are reviewed here. No new air date was given.
With all the well-educated people in Hollywood, it's amazing how difficult it is for them to create a halfway decent sitcom. But that's been a problem vexing the TV industry for several years now: Too many sitcoms, too few laughs.
That's especially true of comedies on The WB, a network that made its reputation with teen-skewing dramas. Finally, The WB has a comedy worth watching: "Maybe It's Me" (8:30 tonight, WCWB).
No "maybe" about it, this single-camera comedy (think "Malcolm in the Middle") is frequently funny, often with a dollop of wacky added for good measure.
At 15, Molly Stage (Reagan Dale Neis) is constantly embarrassed by her family, whether it's her criminally inclined oldest brother (Andrew Walker), her Christian rock-singing brother (Patrick Levis) or her bratty twin sisters, Mindy (Daniella Canterman) and Cindy (Deanna Canterman), someone's always around to ensure her insecurity.
And don't forget her dad (Fred Willard), who's obsessed with girls soccer -- though not in a creepy way -- and her perpetually late, skinflint mother ("What a deal I got on ham! The store's freezer went out, but I'm sure it's fine").
In tonight's premiere, Molly finally catches the eye of the guy she's had a mad crush on for years.
But the fates conspire to make their first dinner with her family a nightmare. Leading the pack is Grandma (Ellen Albertini Dow, the rapping granny from "The Wedding Singer"), who asks the guy at least three times, "So, Nick, how do you like living by the lake?"
As Molly's parents, Julia Sweeney and Willard steal all their scenes. They're true comedy pros who imbue "Maybe It's Me" with enough non-teen stuff to keep parents tuned in.
As Molly, blond Neis is appropriately wide-eyed, but the notion that she's some kind of nerd (she's supposedly president of the chess club) is impossible to believe. She's a beautiful girl, not some ugly duckling. Maybe it's me, but that's the only note that rings false in this otherwise comic series.
A Review From TeeVee.org
Fall '01: "Maybe It's Me"
by Jason Snell October 24, 2001
I am not a 15-year-old girl. I have never been a 15-year-old girl. And while there was once a time back in the Reagan administration when I spent an extremely large percentage of my brain power contemplating 15-year-old girls, that experience really hasn't prepared me to understand Maybe It's Me, a WB sitcom about a 15-year-old girl and a show that, I suspect, would be best appreciated by one.
Maybe It's Me is a single-camera sitcom about a bright kid trapped in a peculiar family, with oddball parents and annoying younger and older siblings. From that description, you might accurately assess that were it not for Malcolm in the Middle, Maybe It's Me would never have existed. That may well be true, but Maybe It's Me isn't just a non-union, north-of-the-border knockoff of the Malcolm format.
Unlike NBC's misguided Tucker, which aped Malcolm without any skill, there's a lot of skill behind Maybe It's Me. Even a 31-year-old man can see that. Reagan Dale Neis is extremely likeable as Molly Stage, a geek who's begun to transform into a cool kid, mostly because -- as we're painfully and repeatedly reminded -- she lost weight over the summer. But despite the presence of a gorgeous girlfriend (Vicki Davis) for Molly to hang out with, this isn't "Clueless," either. When Molly decides to drop cheerleading and rejoin her nerdy pals on the chess team, it's clear that Maybe It's Me is more about being true to yourself than about being popular.
Neis is surrounded by a bunch of familiar faces, none of them more welcome than Fred Willard. Last seen butchering dog show play-by-play commentary in "Best in Show," Willard is the latest in a long line of aging edgy comic actors to transform into goofy dad figures. Did he get tips from Eugene Levy (the goofy dad in "American Pie") and Joe Flaherty (the goofy dad in Freaks and Geeks) before stepping into the role of Jerry Stage? In any event, Willard is almost as entertaining to watch as the befuddled, soccer-obsessed patriarch of the Stage family as he was in "Best in Show." Willard's paired with Julia Sweeney, who as Mary Stage, has come a long way from the unabashed hell of "It's Pat." In a bit of bizarre casting, the Stages have a live-in grandma, played by Ellen Albertini Dow, the rappin' granny from Adam Sandler's "The Wedding Singer."
While the adults in Maybe It's Me might be in the same league as those on Malcolm (not as good as Jane Kaczmarek and Bryan Cranston, but in the ballpark), the news isn't as good on the sibling front: Molly's got younger twin sisters who aren't particularly interesting, and an older brother (Andrew Walker) who's a one-note bad boy. Most promising is brother Grant (Patrick Levis). Fresh from paying Donny Osmond in a TV movie, Levis is primed for his role as a Jesus freak who plays terrible Christian rock songs at the dinner table. Some religious groups will doubtless be offended by the simplistic way that Grant's religious fervor is depicted... and if the producers don't broaden the character soon, they'll be right to complain. But if handled properly, Grant could be the most worthy of all the show's supporting characters.
Even a talented cast can't succeed when it gets lousy material. But while parts of Maybe It's Me made me feel I had landed on an alien planet -- one populated entirely by adolescent girls -- many parts of it are downright funny.
Molly's embarrassment at her family's quirks are obviously at the heart of the show, which explains why it was called Maybe I'm Adopted until adopted people decided that the phrase seemed vaguely insulting and mounted a successful campaign to get the show's producers to change it. The result is, if I'm reading the otherwise cryptic runes of teenage girlhood correctly, a lot of jokes about how embarrassing it is to be a teenager.
But after watching Maybe It's Me for a while, I got a strange feeling -- the feeling that maybe it's not me, after all. Maybe it's the show.
I suspect that while Maybe It's Me may be one of the better Family Sitcoms out there, it will never break free of that mold and be in the same league as Malcolm. As male-dominated as it is, women I know still get a kick out of Malcolm. And while I spent most of my time empathizing with the geeks in Freaks and Geeks, I could also identify with what that show's female characters were going through.
Really good shows like those break through the barriers. They make you feel welcome, make you feel as if you understand the characters and can identify with them. They feel... more real, somehow.
Maybe It's Me doesn't make that leap. It's a funny show with a good cast and a lot of potential. It's the class of the Family Sitcom genre fronted in the past by such dubious headliners as Full House, Sabrina and Family Matters. Teenage girls will like it. Young women will like it. But I just couldn't quite connect with it.
So maybe it is me.
Here's Dabbs Greer's Obituary
Character actor Dabbs Greer dies at 90 Tue May 1,2007 8:36 AM ET
PASADENA, Calif. - Dabbs Greer, a veteran character actor who played the Rev. Robert Alden in the TV show "Little House on the Prairie," has died. He was 90.
Greer, a Missouri native, died Saturday at Huntington Hospital after a battle with kidney and heart disease, his neighbor, Bill Klukken, told the Los Angeles Times. B.J. Goodwin, coroner for McDonald County, Mo., confirmed the death to The Associated Press.
Greer played "everyman" roles, from bus drivers to preachers and shopkeepers, in nearly 100 movies and hundreds of TV show episodes. He played a prison guard in the 1999 movie "The Green Mile."
He played storekeeper Mr. Jonus on "Gunsmoke" and also was the minister who married Mike and Carol Brady in 1969 on TV's "The Brady Bunch."
Most of his work was in supporting roles, but Greer told the Albany, N.Y., Times Union in 2000: "Every character actor, in their own little sphere, is the lead."
Born Robert William Greer on April 2, 1917, in Fairview, Mo., Greer moved to Anderson as an infant with his family. He was 8 when he began acting in children's theater productions.
He made his film debut as an extra in the 1938 movie "Jesse James," which was filmed mainly in Pineville.
"They were paying $5 a day a day! to local people for being extras. That was really good money in those days, more money than we had seen in a long time," he told the Neosho Daily News in 2002.
He moved to Pasadena in 1943.
Greer never married and had no survivors.
To watch clips of Maybe It's Me go to https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=maybe+it%27s+me+full+episodes
For Tim's TV Showcase go to https://web.archive.org/web/20130406183731/http://www.timstvshowcase.com/maybe.html
For The Official Fred Willard Website go to http://www.fredwillard.com/
To watch the opening credits go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdE1ijQ2It4
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Keywords: Maybe It's Me Cast