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Miss Guided aired from March until April 2008 on ABC.

Having finally conquered the awkward, traumatic world of high school, Becky Freeley (Judy Greer) returned to her alma mater as a guidance counselor with her insecurities and orthodontia a distant memory.

While Becky deftly navigated the uncertainties of troubled students and an often troubling faculty, she was certain of one thing - her desperate attraction to hot mechanic-turned-Spanish teacher Tim (Kristoffer Polaha). Now that it seemed Becky might finally be getting the upper hand in life and love, she was shocked to discover that the newly hired English teacher was none other than her high school nemesis, Lisa Germain (Brooke Burns). Lisa was a smart, stunning beauty, and suddenly Becky was forced to relive her past and compete for Tim's affections.

"Miss/Guided" starred Judy Greer as Becky Freeley, Brooke Burns as Lisa Germain, Kristoffer Polaha as Tim O'Malley, Earl Billings as Principal Huffy and Chris Parnell as Vice Principal Bruce Terry.

A Review from The LA Times

TV Review: 'Miss Guided'

By Rick Porter
March 17, 2008

TV comedy is not especially healthy right now; not many people would argue with that idea. Given the way ABC is handling its new series "Miss Guided" -- a sweet and charming show starring the wonderful Judy Greer -- I almost wonder if the network even recognizes what a potentially valuable asset it has on its hands.

Given the way ABC has scheduled "Miss Guided," it's hard to tell. While the series will get a fine showcase for its premiere following "Dancing with the Stars" on Tuesday night (March 18), after that it heads to 8 p.m. Thursdays, where it will run back-to-back episodes for three weeks, then disappear. If that doesn't scream "late-season burnoff," I don't know what does.

I also don't know why ABC would treat the show this way, because given a little nurturing, "Miss Guided" could develop into a pretty fine series. It certainly has the right elements: A great lead performance from Greer, a strong supporting cast that features Chris Parnell and Brooke Burns, and a premise that's both easy to grasp and open enough to allow for lots of room to grow.

Greer ("27 Dresses," "Arrested Development") plays Becky Freeley, a guidance counselor at Glen Ellen High School, her alma mater. A headgear-wearing, Milli Vanilli-listening wallflower then, Becky has grown up to become an attractive, confident (usually) and optimistic (pretty much always) adult who's dedicated to giving her students the help she didn't get.

She's also nursing a crush on the new Spanish teacher, Tim (Kristoffer Polaha, "North Shore"), who's just moved over from auto shop and is about one lesson plan ahead of his students. She's not about to ask him out (she doesn't want to look desperate, after all), she's just about sure that he's on the verge of asking her out in that sunny/tragic, I'm-sure-he'll-notice-me way.

Until, that is, new English teacher Lisa Germain (Burns, "Pepper Dennis") shows up. Lisa was the homecoming queen in Becky's days in high school, and despite them having numerous classes together, Lisa can't really recall much about Becky ("Is she the same Becky who vomited during the safe-sex assembly?").

Naturally, Lisa catches Tim's eye, and naturally, Becky won't take that lying down -- though confrontation is not exactly her style either. If that were all there is to "Miss Guided," I wouldn't be griping about the scheduling. Thankfully, though, there's a good deal more happening, and even the love triangle aspect has some sharp edges.

For starters, Greer throws herself completely into the part. She's a talented physical actress, and she's unafraid to look goofy in the service of comedy. There's also something a little forlorn in her performance, a suggestion that behind her ever-smiling face, she's a little disappointed with how her life has turned out.

"Saturday Night Live" alum Parnell gets his fair share of the comedic load as the school's vice principal, a walking Napoleon complex who's constantly asserting his authority -- mostly to remind himself that he has some. Polaha plays straight man as the affable and slightly dense Tim, and somewhat refreshingly, Burns gets to be a little bitchy. It's not that Lisa is a bad person, exactly, but she's never really gotten past the homecoming-queen stage.

The cast's secret weapon, though, is Earl Billings ("Thank You for Smoking") as the weary Principal Huffy. He doesn't have many scenes in the two episodes ABC sent out for review, but his bone-dry delivery (as when he's standing outside a school dance, repeating "no groping, no grinding" to whoever walks past) makes every one of them count.

Caroline Williams, who previously worked on "The Office," created the show, and Emmy winner Todd Holland ("Malcolm in the Middle") directed the pilot with a few "Malcolm"-esque touches (including having characters talk to the camera, a device that's a little overused but is effective for doling out exposition). Holland is also an executive producer, along with Ashton Kutcher (who does a self-mocking guest turn in the second episode, airing Thursday) and "That '70s Show" vet Mark Hudis (among several others).

With a fine cast in front of the camera and a pretty strong crew behind it, "Miss Guided" seems to have what it takes to enjoy a fairly good run. It's not hard to imagine it paired with "Samantha Who?," which has performed well for ABC this season. But to get there, viewers will have to find it, and ABC is not making it all that easy.

A Review from Variety

Miss Guided
(Series; ABC, Tues. March 18, 10:30 p.m.)

Filmed in Los Angeles by Katalyst Films in association with ABC Studios and 20th Century Fox Television. Executive producers, Todd Holland, Karey Burke, Mark Hudis, Ashton Kutcher, Jason Goldberg; co-executive producer, Caroline Williams; producer, Michael J. Maschio; director, Holland; writer, Williams.

Becky Freeley - Judy Greer
Lisa Germain - Brooke Burns
Tim O'Malley - Kristoffer Polaha
Principal Huffy - Earl Billings
Vice Principal Bruce Terry - Chris Parnell

The idea that we never really outgrow high school is hardly new, but Judy Greer's quirky vulnerability as the embodiment of this stunted emotional development helps elevate "Miss Guided" slightly above its familiar and predictable formula. Playing a former high-school nerd serving as a guidance counselor at her alma mater, Greer's character borders on becoming too pathetic and needy, and the repeated use of direct-to-camera confessionals (to whom isn't exactly clear) is a peculiar contrivance. Still, grading on a TV comedy curve, the series at least possesses an amiable quality for humor-seekers lacking in Ivy League ambitions.

Created by Caroline Williams, the show casts Greer as Becky, whose indignity-filled high school experience is revealed through rapid flashbacks (think "Family Guy," but as live action) while she cheerfully discusses her wonderful current work on behalf of her students. Peel the exterior back just barely, though, and it's clear Becky hasn't advanced much beyond all that teenage angst -- including her unspoken crush on Tim (Kristoffer Polaha), the shop teacher-turned-inept-Spanish teacher whose mere presence provokes stammering giddiness.

Her Tim-Becky fantasy, however, is dealt a potential blow by the hiring of one-time classmate/popular girl Lisa (Brooke Burns), newly divorced and a daunting rival for the none-too-bright Tim's attention. A second episode, meanwhile, scheduled for March 20 guest stars series exec producer Ashton Kutcher as a dreamy, guitar-playing substitute who sends hearts atwitter and risks toppling the central triangle off its already-shaky axis.

Beyond Greer's latter-day Mary Tyler Moore shtick, there's not a note or character that doesn't feel warmed over, from the vain and predatory Lisa to the detached principal (Earl Billings) to the authoritarian vice principal ("Saturday Night Live's" Chris Parnell, on autopilot) spoiling to use bare-knuckled discipline to tame this blackboard jungle. And while the show does muster a few softer moments between Becky and her young charges, they're used more as a device to highlight her insecurities than developed in any meaningful way. (That includes Jamie Lynn Spears, featured in a second-episode cameo.)

Perhaps the kids' roles will improve should the show endure, and ABC is sending "Miss Guided" into the world with a helpful shove from "Dancing With the Stars" -- a strategy that worked well enough in launching "Samantha Who?" which possesses a less-appealing but equally flummoxed blond heroine.

Such assistance is always welcome, but as any diligent guidance counselor would advise, young TV programs must prove sooner or later that they are capable of standing on their own, and initially, anyway, Greer's slim form is the only reliable asset this one possesses to shoulder that burden.

A Review from The New York Times

Television Review | 'Miss Guided'
A Guidance Counselor's Second (Pained) Adolescence
Published: March 18, 2008

The past few months have offered little reason to maintain a contrarian's faith in network comedy. I was just about to bring up Cavemen, but I can hear you doing it first.

Artifice is the fashion of the day: exaggerated (or just plain ridiculous) characters talking fake talk in worlds sealed off in bubble plastic. Only 30 Rock has proved itself a master of this kind of contrivance, but Miss Guided, a new half-hour comedy on ABC, has sped up and pulled in fairly close to its exalted parking space.

Set amid the members of a high school faculty, Miss Guided (which begins on Tuesday and then moves to Thursdays) belongs to the universe of stunted-growth comedy. This is a genre that has had a sporadic if successful run on television, beginning with the brilliant Get a Life in the early 90s, a series that starred Chris Elliott as a 30-year-old paperboy, and getting a kick with Strangers With Candy, a wonderful grotesquerie in which Amy Sedaris wore a fat suit and Howard Hughes toenails to play a 40-ish high school student addicted to adolescent styles of humiliation.

These shows don't attract large audiences but they draw devoted ones, made up, presumably, of late bloomers who indulge a giddy repulsion in thoughts of their 15-year-old selves. Caroline Williams, the creator of Miss Guided, seems to have been inspired by such efforts at twisted nostalgia; her show is like Ms. Sedaris's made hygienic. Judy Greer, an Irene Dunne-ish blonde, stars as a guidance counselor named Becky Freeley who has returned to work at her old high school, a place where she languished in anonymity, blossoming only in the sense that she ate her way to a size 20.

Perky, thin and well dressed in fitted suits now, she comes back to find her old insecurities reignited by the presence of a vixen classmate named Lisa Germain (Brooke Burns), who teaches English in tight, V-neck sweaters and low-slung skirts. Lisa has been living on a cattle ranch in Spain, writing a novel, and now she's making a play for the guy Becky likes, a dolt of a shop teacher turned Spanish instructor named Tim O'Malley (Kristoffer Polaha), whose authentic pronunciations begin and end with the word tortilla.

Miss Guided doesn't rely on machine-gun rounds of dialogue; the pacing, entirely original, feels like a game of hopscotch. Guided by an ambient lunacy, the show resists forced restlessness, settling in and fleshing out its characters idiosyncrasies instead. Becky and her colleagues occasionally talk to the camera in a mock documentary style, explaining how they landed at Glen Ellen High exposition that transcends simple exposition.

The series counts Ashton Kutcher as one of its executive producers, and fortunately humility has not kept him locked up in a writers room. On Thursday he appears as a substitute teacher, wearing thumb rings and a guitar slung over his shoulder, threatening Tim's hegemony in the Spanish department with the look of a Gipsy King auditioning for a spread in Playgirl. Is there another young actor who more deserves the Dean Martin Award for ingeniously mocking his own image? If we're lucky, there will be a guest appearance by Demi Moore.

Until then, we'll make do with a guest appearance by Jamie-Lynn Spears. She turns up on Miss Guided as one of the students Becky advises, funny and showing no signs of the sexual misjudgment that recently resulted in her pregnancy. On sitcoms she apparently receives better adult supervision.


ABC, Tuesday night at 10:30, Eastern and Pacific times; 9:30, Central time.

Created by Caroline Williams; Todd Holland, Karey Burke, Mark Hudis, Ashton Kutcher, Jason Goldberg, executive producers; Ms. Williams, co-executive producer. Produced by 20th Century Fox Television and ABC Studios.

WITH: Judy Greer (Becky Freeley), Brooke Burns (Lisa Germain), Kristoffer Polaha (Tim O'Malley), Earl Billings (Principal Huffy), Chris Parnell (Vice Principal Bruce Terry).

An Article from USA TODAY

Judy Greer finally has her sitcom, but things were a little 'ugly' early on
By Donna Freydkin, USA TODAY

NEW YORK Most actresses, stunners today, love to claim that they were dorks in high school. Judy Greer actually provides concrete physical proof thereof.
In her new sitcom, Miss Guided, Greer is chipper, upbeat guidance counselor Becky Freeley, who returns to her high school to guide another generation. Confronted with students who can't spell, who fear dating and who may have lice, Greer's Becky keeps smiling. "These kids are a delight!" she proclaims.

The show premieres tonight on ABC (10:30 ET/PT) before moving to its regular slot on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET/PT. And in the opening credits, that's actually Greer, 32, in an old school photo sporting a badly misguided hairdo and spectacular specs.

"I was a big loser, and I was super-duper ugly. That's my picture. That's actually me," she says, laughing. "My hair was just crusty. That was my high school experience first year, big loser. Second year, big loser. Third year, OK. And fourth year, I didn't care and enjoyed myself."

That's one reason Greer can relate to the teens she deals with on the show.

"The summer between my junior and senior year was the end of my ugly-duckling phase," she says. "I got a boyfriend. I was a hippie and didn't care anymore. That's the key to high school to anything, really is that as soon as you don't care, then you're the (expletive)."

She pauses, grins. "And by the way, I was never the (expletive)."

Ashton Kutcher, who produces the series and guest-stars on the second episode as a "hot sub," sees shades of Greer in Becky. "Judy is an earnest person with a massive desire to do well, and an ability to see the bright side of everything. That is the essence of Becky," he says via e-mail.

It's what cemented Greer's friendship with Jennifer Garner, who co-starred with Greer in 2004's 13 Going on 30. Garner writes via e-mail that "the minute I met her I felt like I had always known her. She is just super easy to be with, and we clicked right away. She is someone you know immediately that you can trust."

Thanks to her show, Greer now has a weird link to the Spears family. She's still a little stunned that Jamie Lynn Spears, who shot a guest appearance last fall for the second episode of Miss Guided as a slatternly teen, later announced her pregnancy at 16.

But Greer's life is decidedly un-Spears-like. In L.A., she owns an American bulldog that she shares with her boyfriend, independent film producer Felipe Marino (The Wackness). She proudly shows off photos of Buckley, who's sharing a bed with her, and who often comes to set with her. "So beautiful. It kills me how beautiful he is. He's really lazy," says Greer of her dog. The actress, a vegetarian, runs, knits and started her own book club, with Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao the group's first piece of assigned reading. Her ultimate guilty TV pleasure? CW's America's Next Top Model.

Greer, a graduate of DePaul University's Theatre School, has turned scene-stealing into an art form. She has had sparkling moments in 2000's What Women Want, 2001's The Wedding Planner and as a secretary in the beloved 2003-06 sitcom Arrested Development. After her turn as a circus freak in 2006 on My Name Is Earl, Entertainment Weekly called her "woefully underemployed but always adorable."

She's thrilled to have her own sitcom.

"I've always done pilots. I've always wanted to be on TV because it reaches the most people. I was looking for something I'd want to do for five years," she says. "I was looking at the material."

Kutcher had promised Greer that if Miss Guided got picked up, he'd give her chopper-loving father a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. He kept his word.

"Dude, who does that?" she says. "I say all the time that I'll call you, and I'm the worst at returning phone calls and e-mails. But he did. My dad was totally, totally in shock," she says.

She's worth it, Kutcher says: "Judy is your instant best friend. She is one of those people that you can't help but want the best for."

A Review from USA TODAY

'Miss Guided' heads in the wrong direction

By Robert Bianco, USA TODAY

Maybe ABC figures if it keeps doing the same sitcom, we'll eventually give up and watch.
Odds are that plan is well, misguided. But we'll see.

Still, isn't anyone at ABC tired of doing variations on the same theme: ultra-absurd, cheaply ironic filmed sitcoms that go to great distancing lengths to make sure we never take the characters seriously or get overly involved in their situations?

If nothing else, you'd think the network would spare us yet another heavily narrated half-hour because really, how else would we follow something as monumentally complicated as a sitcom if the main character didn't explain the story to us?

At least this time the person chatting away is the incredibly engaging Judy Greer, best known to TV audiences for her secretarial stint on Arrested Development. Here she's Becky Freeley, a formerly gawky high-school outcast who returns to her alma mater as a now-lovely but still-awkward guidance counselor.

As she says, "Who wouldn't want to come back knowing everything?"

The trouble for Becky and her show is that she really knows nothing, which vitiates what could have been an interesting concept: the former loser who returns to help kids like her have an easier time of it. That, however, wouldn't be out-there enough for modern sitcoms. Instead, Becky has to be as clueless and helpless as those around her, leaving us with no particular reason to care what happens to her, despite the abundant charm Greer sometimes manages to impart.

Clearly, grown-ups are out of fashion in our culture at the moment, which is why we have to endure yet another adult who acts as if her brain has been flash-frozen at 15. Becky spends tonight fixated on whether the Spanish-teacher hunk (Kristoffer Polaha) will ask her to the prom and certain she'll lose him to Lisa (Brooke Burns), high school nemesis turned co-worker.

Which means she will invariably do and say all the wrong things, embarrassing herself and us. And even if one tiny thing does go right for her, the show will be certain to humiliate her again before the half-hour ends.

If anything, things get even worse in an upcoming episode, built around a guest shot by Ashton Kutcher, one of the show's producers. Becky is allowed a bit more backbone, but to compensate, every other character becomes lobotomized, led by Chris Parnell's one-note annoying vice principal.

Still, keep an eye on Greer, who in better hands has the makings of a sitcom star. You know, the kind who used to play characters you were expected to believe and invest in, even in places like ABC.

It would be nice if someone at the network could be guided to another one.

A Review from The New York Post


March 18, 2008 -- ASHTON Kutcher doesn't just know his way around gor geous older women, he knows his way around a good laugh as well.

Take his newest producing gig, "Miss Guided," a sophomoric comedy about high school (and really aren't all high school comedies, er, sophomoric?) that supplies as many laughs as a whoopie cushion in a lecture hall.

Well, calling this a high school sitcom isn't really accurate because the sit revolves around the faculty and staff at Glen Ellen High - and the com revolves around the premise that you can never get out of high school. Not really.

Once the patterns are set, you can become Bill Gates, sure, but the girls will always fall for the muscle guy with the long, silky hair.

Here we've got Becky Freeley (Judy Greer), who works as a guidance counselor at her old high school where she has a huge crush on hot, hot, hot auto shop/Spanish teacher Tim (Kristoffer Polaha). He isn't the brightest bulb in the tree, but he is nice and adorable. The fact that he's only one semester of Spanish ahead of his remedial Spanish students doesn't mean he isn't eager to learn the language as well as the next hombre. Right?

In the grand tradition of over-the-top principals and assistant principals comes Principal Phil Huffy (Earl Billings) and Vice Principal Bruce Terry (Chris Parnell) who are so funny, they could carry a show by themselves. Phil is serious and jaded, Bruce is short and Napoleonic.

Into the mix and into Becky's life comes a new teacher and it's - oh no! - Lisa Germaine, (Brooke Burns) the hottest, smartest girl in Becky's high school class who always got the hottest guys. Becky, needless to say, was an orthodonically-trapped, big-haired oaf.

Up until the stunning Lisa returns, fresh from a divorce in her classic '65 Mustang convertible to teach at Glen Ellen High, Becky was happy and content. Now, it's high school all over again.

There are some very funny moments here, not the least of which takes place at the school dance when Principal Huffy says a mantra to each kid walking into the dance, "no groping, no grinding," "no groping, no grinding."

In episode two, Tim's job is in danger when the cool, new Spanish substitute teacher (Kutcher) shows up with a guitar slung over his back speaking fluent Spanish and proffering a cheese-ball line for everyone. Very funny. But a warning: If you don't like dopey, sophomoric humor, I'd suggest you skip it and wait for "The Charlie Rose Show" instead

A Review from The Boston Globe

Television Review

'Miss Guided' leads to smiles

By Matthew Gilbert
Globe Staff / March 18, 2008

"Miss Guided" is a sweet nothing of a sitcom. More substantial comedies are like lit fuses, with some kind of direct or indirect trail leading to social relevance. They make points about politics ("All in the Family"), sexual orientation ("Will & Grace"), morality ("Arrested Development"), narcissism ("Seinfeld"), or leadership ("The Office") - all while making us laugh at ourselves. They're artifacts of and about and against our culture.

"Miss Guided," which premieres tonight at 10:30 on Channel 5 before moving to Thursdays, does little more than inspire a few easy smiles. It's a light half-hour of adults acting like teens, and teens acting like teens, that won't trick you into thinking or rethinking much of anything important. In the "Miss Guided" halls of learning, only silliness ensues. But it's genial silliness, and that's worth something.

The easiest way to describe the show is to call it " 'Scrubs' goes to high school," with the caveat that it's not nearly as clever as the hospital comedy. Judy Greer stars as Becky Freeley, a guidance counselor who was a flaming geek in high school. Becky thinks she has overcome her adolescent awkwardness, but we can see that she's still a lovable dolt. "Miss Guided" is a single-camera comedy without a laugh track, and so we are periodically treated to glimpses of the young Becky with bad hair and braces, getting stood up for the homecoming dance or rocking out to Milli Vanilli.

Becky is smitten with the boyishly handsome Spanish teacher, Tim (Kristoffer Polaha), but who's that competing with her for his affections? Why it's perfect Lisa (Brooke Burns), Becky's nemesis, the very same Lisa who was the homecoming queen when Becky was a student. When "Miss Guided" moves to its regular spot on Thursday night at 8, Ashton Kutcher guest stars as a substitute Spanish teacher who further complicates the wacky love triangle.

What can I say? The ladies vie to charm Tim, who is not a particularly sharp tack, and they deal with the persnickety vice principal, played with wonderfully low-key obnoxiousness by Chris Parnell, formerly of "Saturday Night Live" and an occasional guest star (as Dr. Spaceman) on "30 Rock." The premise isn't much more sophisticated than an abominable NBC sitcom from 2006 called "Teachers," which miraculously lasted for seven episodes. And yet somehow the result is far more winning.

Greer, who had regular TV roles in "Arrested Development" and the short-lived "Love Monkey," is an important factor in the show's appeal. She recalls Joan Cusack, but with a tinge of Shelley Long in the mix. If New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast were to develop a sitcom character, Greer might play her well - innocent, kooky, a little schoolmarmish, distinctively oddball. Greer makes Becky into a nut whose self-delusions are harmless, who is certainly pathetic and yet somehow worth rooting for.

Created by Caroline Williams, the show has very little of the forced politically incorrect humor that has become a sitcom cliche these days. And it doesn't resort to the hyped-up farce that makes "Samantha Who?" feel so labored. "Miss Guided" is a solidly middle-of-the-road amusement about the adolescent within. It's not a show I'd put on my DVR, but if I happened upon it, I might sit back and smirk.

A Review from The Mercury News

Charming actress helps 'Miss Guided' make grade
By Chuck Barney
Staff writer

Just imagine, for a minute, this frightening scenario: What if high school was essentially an endless loop "" one that you never really escape, no matter how far you journey into adulthood?

That's kind of what life is like for Becky Freeley (Judy Greer), the delightfully wacky character at the heart of ABC's "Miss Guided."

In her trying days at Glen Ellen High School, nerdy Becky had enough orthodontia to set off metal detectors a mile away, and enough insecurities to send a therapist into cold sweats. Now that she has returned to her alma mater as a guidance counselor, things have changed, but not really.

She has an unrequited crush on a hunky mechanic-turned-Spanish teacher (Kristoffer Polaha). Even worse, her high school nemesis, the stunningly beautiful Lisa Germain (Brooke Burns), is back on campus as a newly hired English instructor.

"Wow, you look great," Lisa says upon seeing Becky. "Nothing like I remember."

Yeah, it's like that.

What's adorable "" and funny "" about Greer's take on Becky is that she is sweetly oblivious to the fact that she's still a dork, albeit a prettier one. "Hey, peeps! What's the haps?" she blurts out to a group of students, convinced that she's down with their lingo.

"Miss Guided," which comes to us from the production company of Ashton Kutcher (he makes an appearance in an upcoming episode), contains some of the cringe-comedy elements of "The Office."

Poor Becky is excessively perky in a Glinda-the-Good-Witch sort of style. But you just know she's going to get taken advantage of in ways that might seem too achingly familiar.

Your willingness to embrace "Miss Guided" will probably come down to how much you can take of Greer. She might be too much of a sugar rush for some "" and the show's habit of having her directly address the camera can be grating.

On the other hand, she's an engagingly funny lady, who doesn't shy away from physical comedy and knows how to sell a joke. Those qualities alone make a trip back to high school almost bearable.

"Miss Guided" airs tonight after "Dancing With the Stars," and then debuts in its regular time slot at 8 p.m. March 20.

CHANNEL SURFING: A second season of the critically lauded but largely overlooked "The Riches" (10 p.m., FX) kicks off tonight. If for nothing else, watch it for Minnie Driver's award-worthy performance "... "Survivor" fans take note: Because of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, the show will air on March 19 (7 p.m., Channel 13; 8 p.m., Channel 5) instead of March 20 this week "... Thursday's episode of "Lost" (9 p.m., Channels 7 and 10) will be the final new one until late April. It offers fans a chance to find out what Michael Dawson (Harold Perrineau) has been up to since bolting the island.

n WHAT: "Miss Guided"

n WHEN: 10:32 tonight

n WHERE: Channels 7 and 10 (ABC)


An Article from NY Magazine
Published on March 18, 2008

Will Miss Guided Finally Make Judy Greer a Star?

There are a lot of reasons that we want to like ABC's new sitcom Miss Guided, but the foremost is that it stars Judy Greer. Greer has, for several years now, been the kind of hard-to-cast comedienne whose quirky brand of off-center funniness struggles to find the perfect vehicle. Like her predecessors in this quandary Joan Cusack, Bonnie Hunt, Tia Leoni Greer isn't the prototypical bombshell sitcom actress, though like those predecessors she's quite attractive. Her performances in tiny roles tend to bring out critics' inner casting directors, but she's never found the right role. She's played the wallflower or the bitch or the funny best friend ten million times Jawbreaker, What Women Want, 13 Going on 30, Love Monkey, 27 Dresses and had nice guest star spots on My Name Is Earl and Arrested Development. Her funniest, but least-seen role, was as David Duchovny's brittle, incompetent manager in The TV Set. Will Miss Guided be the part that finally makes her a star?

Probably not, alas. We didn't love the show when we watched its pilot way back in May, although it's been on the shelf so long it certainly could have been reworked. But the reviews today are mediocre, and even the biggest rave from Ginia Bellafante in the Times doesn't scream "big hit." Bellafante compares the show to Get a Life and Strangers With Candy, two great shows that never really broke out, and describes it in terms that scream "cute show, no future": "Guided by an ambient lunacy, the show resists forced restlessness, settling in and fleshing out its characters idiosyncrasies instead." (Also, Bellafante slags our beloved Cavemen for no reason. Why kick us when we're down?)

Will Judy Greer ever find her perfect role? For all her career frustration, Joan Cusack has gotten two Oscar nominations for two big hits, Working Girl and In & Out. Tia Leoni was perfect in Flirting With Disaster, but no one else could figure out what to do with her. Bonnie Hunt has been in so many failed TV shows good ones, bad ones, sitcoms, talk shows that we've lost track. It would be nice if Greer didn't meet the same fate.

An Interview with Brooke Burns from Starpulse Entertainment News

Brooke Burns Talks About 'Miss Guided'

Brooke Burns talked to us recently about her new show, Miss Guided (including a sneak peek at the next few episodes,) her upcoming movies, and the importance that her daughter Madison has on her life. She does indeed live up to her IMDB resume which posts Prior Job Title: Mom. But she is more. She is courageous, having recovered from a near-fatal accident, yet still does most of her own stunts, is charming to chat with, and kept us chuckling through the entire interview.

We just got our first peek of Miss Guided. Pretty funny stuff! We liked your character, Lisa Germain.
(laughs) She's awful, isn't she, and funny at the same time. She's very full of herself.

Are you anything like that?

No! I always like to say that everything that Lisa is, is what I am teaching my daughter what not to be.

Has she seen the show?

Honestly, I don't think that she would be interested. She only watches Hannah Montana. Madison would be like, Oh, there's Mommy on TV. Can we change back now?

How old is Madison?

Seven. She's unimpressed with Mommy being on TV, but I prefer it that way.

Tell us more about Lisa.

Lisa is basically, in her adult life, yearning to go back to her high school days, the best 4 years of her life. She was the head cheerleader, the prom queen, and she was the most popular. Her life since high school has been in shambles, partly due to her narcissistic world view. So she comes back to the school to teach, more by default, I think, than by choice. She was recently divorced and is hoping to find that happiness again.

I think overall she has a bit of a schizophrenic personality, is very insecure, and has a lot of sadness in her true being. But the personality that she puts out for others to see is an ever-confident, ever-charming, ever-popular beautiful woman.

Wow. You have her down already.

(laughs) I think growing up in the South was where I got a lot of my inspiration for the role. You're never quite sure if someone was your best friend, or if you just thought that they were, or if push came to shove, if they would even say that they knew you.

How many episodes have you shot so far?

We shot six out of the twelve before the writer's strike started, so we've only gotten half of our season done. That is why they are going to air them all now, back to back and quickly before May so we can get them out there before pick-ups for the fall.

Are you going to shoot the rest?

No. We are waiting to see what the numbers are now before the fall.

How well do you get along with your costars? Are you one big happy family?

I've been so lucky. I always hear those stories about drama on set. I feel really privileged to work with this group of people because, not only are they actors, they are true comedians. Being in the make-up trailer before we go to set is as funny as working on the show.

Judy (Greer) is unbelievable. She and I really got close and Chris Parnell is one of my favorite people on the planet. I love him. He is hilarious. You just cannot be around him and not smile. I love going to work!

We like Earl Billings (Principal Huffy,) too. He's so deadpan.

Yeah. He's the guy who sits in the corner, you barely know he's there, in the middle of this whole conversation going on about whatever's happening in life. Then Boom!, out of the silence there comes one line and then everybody just hits the floor laughing.

Who is the kidder of the group?

OMG, they are all kidders! Well, Ashton of course was playing pranks on everybody when he came to guest in the premiere. Maybe it's me. (laughs) I like to stir things up a little bit. Everybody's a good sport about it. We all have fun.

That probably helps on the set when you can play around.

Yeah, the energy level, because that's important in a comedy.

There was one line we particularly liked, It's so weird knowing all those students think I'm doable. Lisa is so confident!

(laughs) Isn't that hilarious? She is super confident, borderline obnoxious confident. Anybody at some point in life has their moments.

Will Ashton be doing any more episodes?

I'm not sure. He only did one of these six and he has a lot of other stuff going on right now. It's so much fun having Ashton go from just being a friend to being a boss. I e-mail him Hey Big Boss.

(laugh) Big Boss?

Yeah, I call him the Big Boss.

Tell us a bit about (creator) Caroline Williams.

She's lovely. She's like the girlfriend that you want in your life, all the time. She's this beautiful, petite blonde, funky, full of life kind of girl, and so funny. She really has the voice of Becky Freeley down so clearly and I hope it's the beginning of a huge career for her. She deserves it.

Do you think the character of Becky is based on her at all?

I can't imagine that she would have been dorky in high school, but maybe she was.

What led you into acting? Weren't you a model?

I was a ballerina, which was my first love, and then I hurt my knee in a snow skiing accident. My mom took me into modeling because I was devastated at not being able to dance. So I basically started traveling around the world working, which was great because I have a sort of gypsy spirit about me. After a while it became very two-dimensional and I got bored with it so I said, What else?

My modeling agency started sending me out on commercial audition and under my commercial agent, I got my first TV pilot ( Smilin Jack ) kind of as a fluke down in Orlando. The producer, Al Burton, gave me my second TV series job ( Out of the Blue ) and then said, If you ever move to California, you should meet some of my friends that I think would really like you. They run a little show called Baywatch.

You became a Baywatch Babe?

I was actually a redhead at the time and I auditioned for a guest role as a total b---- and I didn't get the role. I was devastated because my first two jobs came so easily to me. So I said, What? I didn't get the job? That's it! I'm moving to California, I'm starting to study and take this thing seriously. Six months later, they were looking for a series regular and I was back to blonde, and I got the role.

Did you think it's sad to have to go blonde just for a role?

No. It's just hair. I've been every color in the book. I enjoy changing it. I'd get bored having just one hair color. On the show it's very dark, but I'm bronze now.

Tell us about Out of the Blue.

I played a dolphin trainer at Sea World. I love dolphins and the water. It was like, Someone is gonna pay me to do this? (laughs) Sure, sign me up!

You were also in Shallow Hal.

Yes, that was my first film role. I actually auditioned for the role of the neighbor and they thought that I had too similar a look to Gwyneth Paltrow, but when I went into audition a couple of times, the Farrelly brothers said, You're the dorkiest, pretty girl we ever met. We're gonna write a role for you. I thought that was never going to happen, but they did! The lovely Katrina!

You must have been honored.

At first I thought it was a load of Hollywood you-know-what, but when they actually called me with the offer, I thought it was awesome.

Was it fun making it?

OMG, yeah! That was probably my initial falling in love with comedy. Jack Black is unbelievable. The Farrelly brothers were a blast to work for. They set the stage in a really great way for me.

Is that your favorite role so far?

My favorite role in comedy is Kathy Dinkle from Pepper Dennis. I felt a huge, loving connection with her because I created her out of equal parts of my mother and my child.

How fun to be an actor and get all that out.

It is, isn't it?! People ask me why we choose that as a job and I tell them because we can't decide on another job. As an actor you get to play so many jobs, but only for like three months at a time. When you get bored, you switch again.

Don't you think actors are born that way.

Yes. I think you have that essence of wanting to be a performer and a curiosity that carries you through the work of the ups and downs of this industry.

Did you really take acting lessons when you came out to California?

I did. I started studying right away with a bunch of different people and I was fortunate that every class got pre-empted by work. Again, I feel really blessed that that's the way it's gone.

You're from Texas?

I am, originally from Dallas.

You have no accent.

I know. My parents have strong Southern accents, but having been a dancer and living in Seattle and New York for much of my formative years, I think they beat it out of me in the Northwest (laughs.)

What's your favorite medium to work in or do you care?

I don't. I love to work. I love all of it. People ask me if I miss the dancing or hosting. Hosting is just improv to me and really fun. TV is great lifestyle-wise. Being a mother it's a little more consistent than filmwork, but filmwork is really fun because you get to pour so much into one character and there is a beginning, a middle, and an end. You have the light at the end of the tunnel. They all feed different parts of you.

What's on your playlist?

This is kind of old school. I always have Sinatra, and a little bit of Jet because Madison is into them, unfortunately Hannah Montana (laugh) from listening with my daughter. I have Linkin Park, and a wide range that goes from George Winston for my chilling-out music to David Gray, who is one of my all time favorites, and Cheater. I like music and am always checking out what's new.

Can we talk about your accident, or is that too painful? (No pun intended.)

Of course. It's never painful. It's always a good reminder of how grateful I am to be walking through life and not rolling through it, as they say. I had my surfboard in my pool that has a black bottom. I dove underneath to where the slope goes from the shallow end to the deep end and I broke my neck. I happened to have a friend of mine here who is a fireman/paramedic and he saved my life.

That was lucky.

So, so lucky. If anyone had tried to get me out of the pool, my doctor said, basically I would be a quadriplegic. I was about a millimeter away from that. My spinal cord was bruised, so he immobilized me in the pool and really saved me. And now I have a rod and 10 screws and two titanium plates that hold my head on my shoulders. I guess I have my head screwed on tighter than most. (laugh)

(laughs) That's an amazing attitude! What were you doing with a surfboard in your pool in the first place?

One of the things I do to stay in shape is to paddle. So I jury-rigged my 12 foot board in my pool so that I could stand up and paddle in my back yard. I just stay still and do a core work-out.

That sounds a little more intense than anyone needs to do.

(laugh) It's safer in the ocean. Let's put it that way.

Do you still surf?

I was never an avid surfer, more of a tandem surfer. I do distance paddling now and tandem surfing when I have my partner in town.

I would be scared to get back in. Are you okay now?

Yeah. Those things are easy for me. The water is more forgiving than other things. When I think about jet-skiing, the hard attack on the spine kind of makes me cringe.

The ocean can heal you.

It absolutely does! Right after my accident, when I was wearing my collar, I took Madison to Hawaii and that's where we spent our Christmas. We would lay on the beach and be in the ocean and pal around a little.

What did you do during the strike? Did you do some movie-making?

I did. I went up to Canada and I shot a movie about autism and in the first couple months of this year I've been Mom. I've been wearing the hairnet and serving hot lunches at school. (laughs) It's the ultra-glamorous lifestyle of being a mom.

(laughs) Are you being literal? Did you really do that?

Absolutely! The look on my daughter's face when I show up in the middle of the day is priceless.

Tell us more about the Canada shoot.

That one is called Dancing Trees. I have another one ( Smokejumpers ) that should be coming out as well where I play a firefighter/smokejumper, a very physical role. It was great and very empowering to me after breaking my neck.

You did some of your own stunts?

Yeah, pretty much everything, except there was one where they were going to have me crash through a window and I thought that probably could go wrong. (laughs) I used to always say, I want to do all my own stunts. I've been set on fire, I've jumped off of boats, I've done all kinds of crazy things. And then I realized I am giving someone else a job when I allow them to do my stunts. I'm like, Really, go ahead!

(laughs) Sure. We want to keep stunt people working, too. You do plenty of physical activity in your work.

I've always prided myself in that. It's a humbling and maturing experience to sit out certain things now, being considerate of my physical abilities.

I have another movie that's doing the film festival circuit. I think it will be in the Beverly Hills Film Festival on April 9 called the Art of Travel. A group of gypsy travelers go down to Panama and machete their way through the Darien Gap to set a world record. Talk about an experience, really living it. Chris Masterson is the lead of that one.

Do you have any talkshow appearances coming up?

I just did Carson Daly. I did Chelsea, that was really fun. Now I'm doing a radio tour. This week I will be on Ryan Seacrest. I'm taking it at day at a time. It's tough keeping up with all the schedules.

Before we sign off, can you give us a clue about what will be coming up in the next few episodes of Miss Guided?

There's a sort of funny occurrence between Bruce (Chris Parnell) and Lisa, which is great. There's a, Would it ever be possible for Lisa and Becky to be BFF girlfriends? episode.

Do you think so?

I don't know. What do you think?

No. (both laugh)

I think it's in Judy's and Becky's dreams. I think the reality is that we would throw each other under the bus.

Thanks for talking to us.

Thank you for the laughs!

To watch clips of Miss Guided go to
Date: Mon May 6, 2013 � Filesize: 60.1kb, 222.2kbDimensions: 1280 x 1024 �
Keywords: Miss Guided


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