Jenna Elfman Returns to Sitcom TV with IMAGINARY MARY

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Imaginary Mary

JENNA ELFMAN returns to manic comedy in the new ABC comedy, IMAGINARY MARY.

Elfman portrays Alice, a single career woman whose life was put on its current track through the help of an imaginary friend she created when she was six, Mary (voiced by RACHEL DRATCH), to help her cope with her parents disastrous marriage and divorce. Mary helped Alice be independent, get into some trouble, and then disappeared when Alice "became a woman" (in just the way you're probably thinking I mean).

Now a successful public relations person who helps others reshape their image, Alice mets Ben (STEPHEN SCHNEIDER, SAVE ME), who starts out as a client and quickly becomes more. The problem for Alice is that Ben comes with three kids, Andy (NICHOLAS COOMBE), Dora (FALLING SKIES' MATREYA SCARRWENER) and Bunny (ERICA TREMBLAY, THE BYE BYE MAN). For months she and Ben have managed to keep their relationship a secret, so that she's never had to meet the kids, but that can't last forever, and when it becomes apparent that Alice is finally going to meet them, she needs a coping mechanism.

And so returns Mary, a white, fuzzy muppet-like creature that only Alice can see. Initially trying to help Alice sabotage her relationship so she can avoid becoming the worst thing in the world -- a mom -- she ultimately comes around to trying to help Alice keep things together.

IMAGINARY MARY is a bit of a mix of ALF and DROP DEAD FRED. The cute factor is definitely hitting on all levels, with Elfman channeling her DHARMA & GREG comedic talents and interacting with a CGI plushy. The problems I can see for the series are that the plushy is, perhaps, a bit too cute, while the themes and situations are decidedly more adult. I can't imagine they'll be marketing toys of a character who encourages nose-piercing and binge drinking, but I've been wrong before.

IMAGINARY MARY is the brainchild of Adam F. Goldberg (THE GOLDBERGS), Patrick Osborne (FEAST) and David Guarascio (ALIENS IN AMERICA). A new episode airs Saturday, April 1, 2017, before settling into its regular Tuesday night slot on April 4.

 

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0