|I Hate My Teenage Daughter - "Pilot"|
Just to get it out of the way, I Hate My Teenage Daughter is easily one of the worst pilots of this fall. It’s mean, cruel, and it seems like the writers have nothing but utter contempt for the characters they’ve created. It’s a uniquely unfunny and unpleasant show that seems entirely focused on having every character act in ways that are designed to be as off putting as possible. Not every show has to be built around likable characters, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia has been thriving for years with a set of characters that are pretty much the worst group of human beings imaginable. The difference between this show and other shows with unlikable leads though is that I don’t understand why these characters would ever want to spend time with each other or why a viewer would be inclined to voluntarily tune in each and every week. Every joke and line of dialogue seems to be about just how little they like or care for each other, and yet despite the vitriol and cruelty they spew they’re inexplicably bonded to each other.
There could most certainly be a good version of this premise, a show about mothers with truly horrible daughters who commiserate and worry about how their lives have led them to this point, but I Hate My Teenage Daughter is unwilling to push its premise anywhere near this far. It’s a standard network sitcom that hits the traditional emotional beats and tries for heartwarming more than a few times during the pilot episode. It smartly undercuts one of these moments, one of the daughters outright lies to her mother in a pretty egregious fashion, but that’s not enough to offset the other saccharine moments. If this show wanted to succeed it would have to steer into its meanness, accentuate that and you have a pitch black comedy, since it doesn’t all that’s left is a hugely unfunny television series with characters I have no desire to see ever again.
What’s worse is that there are some pretty talented actors in this show, Jaime Pressley and Katie Finneran are the mothers and both have proven themselves to be solid comedic actors in My Name Is Earl and Wonderfalls respectively, but they flail about here desperately trying to enliven material that’s beyond saving. The same goes for Chad Coleman, aka Cutty from The Wire, an actor who went from one of the great shows of all time to this nadir of the medium. Then there’s Wendi McLendon-Covey, another talented female comedienne who is given yet another character who is utterly detestable and filled with hate.
There was only one moment in the entirety of the pilot that I even mildly enjoyed, a quick aside from Pressly about her sheltered upbringing and confusion over pop culture references, but the show quickly ran that barely successful punch line into the ground through repetition. If something worked once it has to work again, right? Right? Right? It’s hard to describe just how unpleasant an experience watching this show was, it’s a brutal half hour of television filled with bad writing, a cloying laugh track, and a tone that seems intent on alienating anyone who is foolish enough to actually watch the show. If you’re considering watching the show, don’t, and if you accidentally did let me be the first to say that I’m sorry, no one deserves that kind of pain.
|Name||I Hate My Teenage Daughter|
|Date of 1st Airing||Nov. 23, 2011|
|Date of Last Airing||March 20, 2012|
|Original Air Day||Monday|
|Original Air Time|
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