Poster: Mr. Television
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Stark Sands, Leah Pipes, Connie Britton and Gregory Hines (standing, from left); Gavin Fink (left) and Mitch Rouse (seated)
Lost At Home aired from April 1-22, 2003 on ABC.
Michael ( Mitch Rouse) was a successful Manhattan advertising executive whose workaholic ways had earned a comfortable lifestyle for his family, but were causing him to completely miss his kids growing-up years. He came to this revelation when his wife, Rachel ( Connie Britton), announced she was considering a divorce and , deciding that late was better than never , he started trying to re-connect. Amiable and befuddled around the big suburban farmhouse that he'd bought for them-but never paid much attention to-Michael fumbled in the kitchen, blundered into his kid's social lives, and was generally a klutz. But a klutz they knew was better than the dad they never saw. Oldest son Will ( Stark Sands) was a high school jock, tentatively trying to find his way with the girls; Sara ( Leah Pipes), the bright but somewhat shy 13 -year-old, who turned to hefty best friend Tucker ( Aaron Hill) for advice when her dad wasn't there, and Joshua ( Gavin Fink), the cute 7-year-old, who tried so hard to be the " good son" that counselors said it might lead to psychological problems. They were all good kids, and Michael's friend and boss at work, Jordan ( Gregory Hines), agreed to cut him some slack so he could spend more time with them.
A Review from The New York Times
TELEVISION REVIEW; A Family-Style Sitcom Tickles the Laugh Track
By RON WERTHEIMER
Published: April 1, 2003
How many networks does it take to screw up a sitcom?
Two: one to help produce it and one desperate enough to broadcast it.
The aptly named ''Lost at Home,'' which lists NBC Studios among its co-conspirators and begins a run on ABC tonight, is a sitcom that sets a group of attractive actors adrift with a trite sit and scant com. Starting with a basic comic conceit -- doofus dad; beautiful, competent, slightly daffy mom; cute kids -- that hasn't been new since Dagwood wooed Blondie, this show's creators add one tepid twist.
Apparently the humor is supposed to flow from the workaholic dad's hapless efforts to reconnect with domestic life after the stay-at-home mom threatens divorce. The laugh track goes into spasms of hysteria in the first moment of the first episode, when the mom, Rachel (Connie Britton), tells the dad, Michael (Mitch Rouse), ''I called a lawyer today.'' The laugh track must have seen the promos that ABC has been running for this series, for without context there is no way that line would come within a mile of funny.
Now that Rachel has Michael's attention, she tells him: ''I don't know you anymore. You're, you're, you're vague to me.''
It's, it's, it's going to be pretty vague to you, too.
Michael, who is supposed to be a brilliantly successful advertising man, decides he can fix everything by cooking breakfast for his family. To which his wise but lonely boss, Jordan (Gregory Hines), says, ''They want to have breakfast with you, take 'em to Denny's and leave 'em there.'' Next week Jordan, who gets the best lines, such as they are, says: ''Those people don't like you, Michael. Why don't you leave them alone?''
Michael, Rachel and their three children really do love one another, of course. So when the show can't find any laughs that aren't computer generated, it takes refuge in bathos. ''I am so way too young to say that I used to be so much fun,'' Rachel whines in the second episode.
Ms. Britton, familiar from her years on ''Spin City,'' looks gorgeous in the show's version of the modern hausfrau uniform: skin-tight jeans and skimpy tops. The talented Mr. Hines displays his usual cool, but every time he comes on screen you'll find yourself hoping that he'll go into a song and dance. No such luck, although somebody must've done some kind of song and dance to get this baloney on the air.
You're so way too busy to waste your time on these unworthy characters. You'd do well to heed Mr. Hines's advice and leave them alone.
A Review From The Michigan Daily
By Daniel Yowell, Daily Arts Writer
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Media Credit: ADRIA CALDWELL
Courtesy of ABC
There has always been a place in the world of television for drippy, overly moralistic and highly implausible sitcoms. They are a staple of the American TV diet. But it is possible for this kind of show to go too far, failing to balance the sappy and the funny. "Lost at Home" is not just unbalanced; so much plot is packed into its first episode that the rest of the series seems unnecessary.
Adman Michael Davis (Mitch Rouse, "Strangers with Candy") has been working long hours for several years, putting his career ahead of his family to the point where he doesn't even know them anymore. When his wife, Rachel (Connie Britton, "Spin City"), threatens him with a divorce, he must rethink his priorities.
Realizing that his family is indeed the most important thing in his life, he springs into action, asking his boss and best friend, Jordan (Broadway star Gregory Hines), if he can stop working long hours and try to save the broken relationship with his family.
Despite a very talented cast, "Lost at Home" is bogged down by overly sentimental scenes and all-too-easy resolutions to the show's main conflict. The first episode is filled mostly with melodrama that would only fly on a show like "7th Heaven." When the wit of the show does peek out - which is not nearly often enough - it can be really funny. It's just not worth suffering through numerous unbelievable scenes where the charismatic Michael smoothly pieces his family together with minimal effort.
After years of being absent from his family's life, he returns as some kind of "Superdad" - knowing all the right things to say and do to reconnect with his kids.
It is impossible to suspend disbelief for this show. In one scene, Rachel informs Michael that their youngest son, Joshua (Gavin Fink), tries to be a perfect little boy in order to make him feel worth coming home to. No problem for "Superdad." He cooks up a scheme involving reverse psychology to make Joshua realize that he doesn't have to be perfect for Dad to love him.
Patching things up with his daughter, Sara (Leah Pipes), is also a breeze. Michael just asks her best friend, Tucker (Aaron Hill), to tell him everything she likes. They talk over a pint of Ben and Jerry's and it appears that all wounds are healed.
The first episode of "Lost at Home" spoils a premise that had potential by seemingly resolving the conflict in less than 30 minutes. It is hard to imagine where the show can go from here. At the end of one episode, Michael is already on better terms with his wife and all three of his kids. What's left to do? "Lost at Home" will need more than a map and compass to get out of the hole it has dug itself into.
For more of Lost at Home go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_at_Home
For Tim's TV Showcase go to https://web.archive.org/web/20130406181053/http://www.timstvshowcase.com/lostathome.html
For a Review of Lost at Home go to http://www.entertainyourbrain.com/lostathomerev.htm
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Keywords: The Cast of Lost at Home