Sitcoms on cable networks are one of my favorite and least favorite developments of the past few years. Shows like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” on FX and though, have set the bar for cable sitcoms, very high. But then, shows like “10 Items or Less” drop my expectations to close to nothing. “My Boys” provides a happy medium and is the cable sitcom to which I judge most others by. That being said, “Rita Rocks” on Lifetime, is a winner.
Starring Nicole Sullivan of MadTV fame, this show doesn’t only not make me cringe, but also, actually makes me laugh. Generally non-network sitcoms feature acting that suffers from what I call the “Stephanie Tanner syndrome” — so awkward that I have to change the channel, and can’t go back for fear of a panic attack due to extreme embarrassment for another person, which can only be cured by a long shower. The acting on Rita Rocks is good though, or at least better than like say “3rd Rock from the Sun” or the latest Brad Garrett project. And honestly, the story lines are pretty entertaining, cheesy, but funny, and not terribly trite.
I’m not sure how the kid from “Phil of the Future” plays the oddball boyfriend of the teenage daughter though. He must not have sold his soul to the devil, because all this time I assumed a Disney contract was harder to get out of than Auschwitz.