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TV Review: 'Imagine That' another brainless comedy from NBC

Tuesday, January 08, 2002

By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor

NBC premieres another mediocre sitcom tonight. Imagine that. No, seriously, "Imagine That" (8 tonight) is the name of this bland comedy that replaces the inept "Emeril."

"Imagine That"

When: 8 tonight on NBC.

Starring: Hank Azaria, Jayne Brooke, Joshua Malina, Katey Sagal


Hank Azaria stars as a writer for a sketch comedy show with a loving but troubled marriage to lawyer Wendy (Jayne Brook).

Like most sitcom guys, Josh has trouble expressing himself, keeping his frustrations bottled up. The couple go to see a therapist, but before they make it to the couch, Josh imagines the counselor as a macho wiseguy (also played by Azaria), which inspires a sketch for his TV show.

Life at the office is just as tenuous. Josh's writing partner, Kenny (Joshua Malina), has hired a sexy assistant whose thong underwear is frequently on display. And head writer Barb Thompson (Katey Sagal) inspires fear while stealing Josh's idea for a sketch and then mangling it.

Like the worst of today's comedy series, "Imagine That" has little to say, so it resorts to sex jokes, the lowest common denominator of sitcom writing.

"Tabitha came in and blew me away," Kenny says of the new assistant.

"I'm so glad you said 'away,' " Josh adds.

After their visit to the therapist, Josh and Wendy attempt a moment of intimacy, which Josh wrecks by suggesting a sex act called "the Cleveland Tornado." Wendy is appalled. Viewers are spared a precise description, but that's about the only thing to be thankful about in regards to this unappealing new series.

You can reach Rob Owen at rowen@post-gazette.com Post questions or comments to www.post-gazette.com/tv under TV Forum.

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