Warner Bros. // 2008 // 220 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // August 23rd, 2010
Has the Seinfeld curse finally been broken?
Though Julia Louis-Dreyfus's show was recently cancelled, she's still the champ of her Seinfeld peers.
Louis-Dreyfus is the titular "Old Christine," Christine Campbell, a bodacious MILF who's a bit lost when it comes to balancing the nuances of her life: kids, job, quirky friends, sexual dalliances, etc. This of course leads to many wacky storylines where Christine must negotiate numerous comic hijinks, much to the delight of the laugh track.
There are two types of half-hour sitcoms these days. The new, sexy single camera, laugh-track-free approach, characterized by shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm, Modern Family and Arrested Development, and the traditional three-camera set-up. The former, in my experience, usually out-perform their counterparts in terms of quality and cleverness. The latter is made up mostly of mediocre stuff, topped by the best of the bunch, How I Met Your Mother. Firmly in the middle of this second tier is The New Adventures of Old Christine (at least according to this season). It is the lukewarm of the lukewarm.
Which is to say that if you like these kinds of sitcoms you should like Old Christine just fine. And I'm not trying to be a condescending douche, either. This show should suit three-camera fans just fine. If that's your kind of show, go with the grace of God and enjoy!
Me? I think I'm over it. How I Met Your Mother is the only orthodox sitcom I can get into (that and Charles in Charge reruns of course) and as open-minded as I was going into Old Christine, and yes I could have worked that syntax better, I left unimpressed.
The show just isn't that funny. The actors tasked with delivering the dialogue are all pros (Clark Gregg, Choke; Wanda Sykes, Evan Almighty; Hamish Linklater, Fantastic Four), but the content is lacking. You know, I think it's the laugh track. There's that constant pressure to deliver something for the chortling masses. They are a demanding bunch.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is the highlight. She's a natural in front of the cameras, of course, and her finely tuned comedic sensibilities are unrivaled. Her stuff is consistently the funniest the show has to offer; the goofy plots (she's dating her son's teacher!) aren't as amusing as her reaction to the scenarios. Not many actors do "hapless" as well as Julia Louis-Dreyfus. And as a bonus: this woman is still amazingly hot.
Ten episodes, two discs, widescreen, 2.0 stereo, nothing else.
Old Christine isn't bad, but it's far from hilarious. Low-impact sitcom adventuring.
Funny, nothing really feels "new" about this show.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 220 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated