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Hidden Hills aired from September 2002 until January 2003 on NBC.
A bland little sitcom about life in the generic suburb of Hidden Hills. It was narrated by Doug ( Justin Louis), a dutiful if some-what sex starved dad who ballanced his career as a construction manager with taking care of his kids, hyperactive tween Emily ( Alexa Nikolas), and chubby younger son Derek( Sean Marquette). His wife Janine ( Paula Marshall), was a busy doctor, so most of the work ferrying the kids around, chaperoning parties and coaching the softball team fell to Doug. Serving as a constant reminder of a life he didn't have, best friend Zack ( Dondre T. Whitfield), and his stylish wife Sarah ( Tamara Taylor), a successful black couple , had sex constantly and easily, even while effortlessly raising their 2 little kids . Another distraction was the sexy new mom in the neighborhood, Belinda ( Kristin Bauer), who ran a pornographic web site while not assistant-coaching Doug's softball team. Pam ( Stacy Galina), was Janine's friend with her own marital problems.
There were numerous little digs at suburbia, from The Monkee's song " Pleasant Valley Sunday" to the omnipresent cell phones, SUV's, and the fact that all the girls on the soccer team were named Caitlin.
A Review from Variety
Posted: Sun., Sep. 22, 2002, 11:53am PT
(Series -- NBC, Tues. Sept. 24, 9:30 p.m.)
By Phil Gallo
Taped in North Hollywood by NBC Studios and Primarily Entertainment. Executive producers, Susanne Daniels, Peter Segal, Ric Swartzlander; co-executive producers, Bob Kushell, Lester Lewis; producer, Michael Ewing; co-producers, Barbie Feldman, Al Sonja L. Rice, Danielle Weinstock; director, Bob Berlinger; writers, Peter Segal, Ric Swartzlander; director of photography, Peter Smokler; music, W.G. "Snuffy" Walden; casting, Pamela Basker and Ted Hann. 30 MIN.
Doug Barber - Justin Louis Janine Barber - Paula Marshall Zack Timmerman - Dondre T. Whitfield Sarah Timmerman - Tamara Taylor Belinda Slypich - Kristin Bauer
As networks peer into HBO's groundbreaking series for inspiration -- and knockoffs -- sitcoms like "Hidden Hills" are bound to happen. NBC laffer finds its inspiration in "The Mind of the Married Man," cleans it up a little and presents an unfortunate look at family life, full of drooling, sex-crazed men; overworked mothers; and, what else, the hot mom down the street who runs a porn Web site. Voiceovers, fantasy scenes and the good ol' rewind button get played out in a hurry; show's too gimmicky for the timeslot following the far smarter "Frasier."
Doug Barber (Justin Louis) appears to be an overburdened Mr. Mom: He's taking the kids to and from school, driving them to activities and overseeing the softball team and an Indian group. So, it comes as a bit of surprise when he actually goes to a construction site with some blueprints and signs papers that are handed to him.
Wife Janine (Paula Marshall) is constantly on the phone, and it's hardly surprising, Doug tells us in voiceover, because Hidden Hills is a community of 12,000 people and 15,000 cell phones. She seems to know what's happening in the kids' lives yet has little involvement with them. She also seems to ignore her husband, who's getting antsy about their lack of sex.
Of course the neighbors, Zack and Sarah Timmerman (Dondre T. Whitfield and Tamara Taylor), have sex all the time and no problems.
The neighborhood women do find plenty of time to chit-chat, and soon it gets around that a new resident, single mom Belinda Slypich (Kristin Bauer), runs her own nude modeling site. And, as luck would have it, Belinda becomes Doug's assistant on the softball team and "Hidden Hills" fades to Playboy-lite fantasy sequences. On the field, though, Doug refuses to look at Belinda and when the situation is rife for a bit of pseudo-sexual misunderstanding, Janine saves the day by playing it cool.
The show's cast is potentially likable; once they're given a script that doesn't feel so derivative and stuck on a single note, show could blossom. Perspective is obviously that of Doug in the super-dad role, but there's no indication that his perceptions are askew -- these are content people with little drama in their lives. And if the mountain-out-of-a-molehill event for each week is strictly sexual, "Hidden Hills" will be running out of steam quickly.
Bob Berlinger's direction is adequate, though it does play into "been there, done that" hands.
A Review from The New York Times
NEW TV SEASON IN REVIEW; HIDDEN HILLS
By ANITA GATES
Published: September 24, 2002
NBC tonight at 9:30, Eastern and Pacific times; 8:30, Central time
Trying to please everyone rarely succeeds; but then the new sitcom ''Hidden Hills'' is just trying to please all men. There are slow-motion fantasy scenes borrowed from ''10,'' ''Flashdance'' and ''Cool Hand Luke'' as well as an ''Austin Powers'' nudity gag. When half a dozen husbands get together, one is African-American and another is Asian-American. (I probably missed the Latino.) Yet on the local girls' baseball team, every player -- almost -- is named Caitlin.
In the first episode Doug Barber (Justin Louis) is distressed because he and his wife haven't had sex in five weeks. This is made even more painful when Doug learns that one neighborhood mom, a busty blonde, has her own pornography Web site and is his new assistant coach. Just one more challenge in the frenetic married-with-children life, just one more comedy trying too hard. ANITA GATES
A Review From entertainyourbrain.com
"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.
For more on Hidden Hills go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidden_Hills
To read some articles about Hidden Hills go to http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=w80gAAAAIBAJ&sjid=eWoFAAAAIBAJ&dq=hidden%20hills%20tv%20show&pg=1397%2C1404108 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=vKUfAAAAIBAJ&sjid=UtYEAAAAIBAJ&dq=hidden%20hills%20tv%20show&pg=1651%2C5882429
For a website dedicated to Paula Marshall go to http://www.spacesurfer.com/wceleb/list/Paula_Marshall_0.html
For a Website dedicated to Alexa Nikolas go to http://www.alexanikolas.net/
· Date: Sat July 22, 2006 · Filesize: 41.2kb · Dimensions: 319 x 480 ·
Keywords: Hidden Hills: Cast Photo