By Ken Tucker
Updated March 17, 2020 at 02:57 AM EDT
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Credit: Kristen: Chris Haston

Kristin

C+
type
  • TV Show
network
  • NBC

If you watch Kristin, you’ll be hard pressed to figure out why this show — scheduled for a limited summer run, or as it’s so kindly called in the biz, burnoff — failed to make the cut as fall TV fare. Not that it’s a classic or anything: ”Kristin” has a charming star but too few laughs. Still, what makes it worse than 80 percent of the rest of the stuff that gets — and stays — on the air? Compared with, say, ”Yes, Dear” or ”Just Shoot Me,” I’d watch ”Kristin” any old time — in fact, I watched four episodes without experiencing any significant pain,unless you count the time a Native American character set up a punchline about ”firewater” that’s about as funny as it is politically correct.

The sitcom stars Tony award winning fireball Kristin Chenoweth (”You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”) as a personal assistant to a Manhattan real estate developer played by Jon Tenney (”Brooklyn South”). That concept is as old as the recently deceased Ann Sothern’s 1950s comedy ”Private Secretary” — smart underling woman always saves the dim male boss’ bacon — but Chenoweth, working with writer – creator John Markus (”Cosby”), delivers lines both snappy and sappy with pinpoint timing. But the element that makes ”Kristin” unique — the singular sparkle of Chenoweth as an Oklahoma naíf, a church raised gal who won’t stand for big city lyin’ and cheatin’ — does not extend to the rest of the cast. Beyond Tenney (who’s paid to do a Donald Trump knockoff), the show is filled with Italian and Latino ethnic stereotypes. Loading up on cheap shot jokes is often a sign that a show doesn’t know what to do with either its star or its premise.

At its best, though, you can see ”Kristin” straining to burst the bounds of its genre; it fails, but it’s an intriguing failure.

Kristin

type
  • TV Show
rating
status
  • In Season
network
  • NBC

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