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TV review: Don't rely on these 'Best Friends Forever'

After burning off the charming "Bent" over three short weeks, NBC is burying another one of its new sitcoms on Wednesday nights.

In other words, don’t get too attached to "Best Friends Forever" (7:30 p.m. APril 4, NBC; 2 stars), the new comedy about two longtime friends who move in together after one gets divorce papers from her hubby.

Jessica St. Clair (Whitney from "Bridesmaids") plays Jessica Black, who moves from San Francisco back home to Brooklyn after said split and into the waiting arms and apartment of her BFF, Lenn (Lennon Parham). There’s one catch when she gets there: Lenn is living with her boyfriend, Joe (Luka Jones), who eats chili, designs video games and organizes his weekends around watching football. Lenn and Jessica, on the other hand, like to watch “Steel Magnolias,” obsess about whether khaki pants make Jessica look fat and create food-themed Sunday afternoon parties.

When Jessica makes Joe’s office her bedroom “temporarily”—which in terms of this show means until it gets canceled—Joe fights back, a little.

You see where this is going? All the humor in the pilot comes from the uncomfortable cohabitation of Joe with the two gals, which is a strong enough foundation for a sitcom. If you think about it, Fox’s “New Girl” has thrived on a reverse set-up. Unlike “New Girl,” however, “BFF” uses the most obvious male-female cliches.

“Best Friends Forever” does have St. Clair and Parham, who are appealing and genuinely funny ladies. And there are some honest and even funny moments in the first episode before everything falls back into hackneyed sitcom territory.

It’s just too bad the real-life pals, who also wrote the show, haven’t given themselves better material. It’s going to take more than its one-dimensionality for “Best Friends Forever” to find friends among viewers.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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