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Pilot Watch: "The Return of Jezebel James"

Pilot Watch: "The Return of Jezebel James"

The networks have announced their fall schedules, but which of the series will actually be worth watching? Throughout the summer, as I watch the pilots, I'll be posting my first impressions. Note that a lot can change before a show actually makes it to air, so these aren't comprehensive reviews, just quick thoughts on how the shows look now. Today's installment: Fox's "The Return of Jezebel James."


What's it about? Two estranged sisters — a driven book editor and an alterna-slacker — reconnect when the younger sister agrees to carry the older one's baby.

Who's in it? Parker Posey, Lauren Ambrose, Michael Arden, Scott Cohen

The good: The show is written by Amy Sherman-Palladino of "Gilmore Girls" fame, and the first episode packs in plenty of her signature snappy dialogue. Posey and Ambrose have a great sisterly chemistry, and the plot seems full of potential for at least a couple of strong seasons.

The bad: The production of this show was a huge turnoff for me. It's a half-hour comedy that should be a one-hour drama — or, at the very least, a comedy produced more in the style of "The Office." At least a couple of good lines got buried in the distracting laugh track, and the show felt very sound-stage-y — I'm not sure there was a single exterior shot! The episode also seemed rushed, as though 30 minutes wasn't enough for all the plot and character development the writers wanted to do.

Will I watch? This show has two of my favorite actresses and one of my favorite writers, so I want it to be good. But I have to say, if this show doesn't change a lot before it makes it to the air at midseason, I don't think I'll be watching.

To watch a preview clip and see a gallery of photos from the show, read more

"The Return of Jezebel James"

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Photos and video courtesy of Fox

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