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Malibu Country: Is the New Reba Sitcom Worth Watching?

Reba McEntire’s last sitcom, Reba, ran for six seasons on the WB and CW networks. Will Malibu Country, her new TV series, last as long or will it be quickly cancelled instead? Is it even worth watching?

Malibu Country revolves around the wife (Reba McEntire) of a country music star. After catching he’s caught cheating, she moves the rest of her family from Nashville to the beaches of Malibu. As Reba tries to pick up her own singing career, the family discovers that sunny California is a very different world. The sitcom also stars Lily Tomlin, Sara Rue, Juliette Angelo, Justin Prentice, Hudson Thames, and Jai Rodriguez.

Does that sound like a hit sitcom? Here’s what some of the critics are saying:

LA Times: “The deal you make with a series like this is, if it doesn’t ask too much of you, you won’t ask too much of it. For your half-hour, you get a few laughs, some pleasant company, and a reliably smooth ride with no unpleasant shocks. There are worse things.”

Miami Herald: “The ostensible comedy in Malibu Country stems from culture clash: McEntire has moved her two teenagers from Nashville to Los Angeles while she tries to rekindle the singing career she gave up to have them. But even if you buy the premise that 2012 Nashville is a redneck hellhole barely familiar with indoor plumbing (big laugh in episode one: Reba meets her first gay person!), the show’s performances and punchlines mostly fall flat. The single exception is Lily Tomlin as McEntire’s cranky mom, who inadvertently discovers the joys of medical marijuana — definitely a two ringy-dingy job.”

USA Today: “Whatever they’re paying Reba McEntire, Sara Rue and Lily Tomlin, it’s not nearly enough… Cast against her normal, brainy type, Rue makes the most of what little the material provides, and even manages to make this under-written character feel momentarily real. As for Tomlin, no material can defeat her. She even gets a laugh out of an extended pot lollipop joke, which must have surprised even the most optimistic of the show’s writers. Somewhat surprisingly, rather than rising above the problems, McEntire adds to them… Maybe paying her more would help — though really, for a show like this, ABC should pay us.”

NY Times: “In addition to Ms. Tomlin, Sara Rue also supplies some comic spark as an oversharing neighbor. Ms. McEntire, who brought a spunky, dogged energy to Reba, looks tired in Malibu Country — in the pilot, at least, she isn’t selling the tired jokes and situations. Maybe the drive from Nashville took it out of her.”

Philadelphia Inquirer: “The pilot for Malibu Country isn’t the very worst show of the new season. But it’s easily the greatest waste of talent, with a broad, fish-out-of-water treatment that makes the distance between Nashville and L.A. seem a lot greater than it does on, say, ABC’s own Nashville and portrays a woman who has reason to know something about show business like a country-music bumpkin.”

Newsday:Malibu Country is nothing great. But its studio-shot sitcom style sure suits Reba. She’s got clockwork timing and throws off double (and triple) takes like a modern Lucy, with self-possessed guts and gumption. Emotion doesn’t elude her, either. She’s got sincerity, and soul.”

Boston Globe: “My affection for Reba McEntire, the Orange Wonder, Milady of the Orange Heavens, She of the Orange Everything, knows no bounds. OK, actually it does know bounds, and Malibu Country may have found them. Her new ABC show… is a traffic jam of culture-clash cliches, numbing laugh track cackles, and fake stage-set lighting. About a Nashville family that moves to California, it’s the country-mouse-in-the-city trope, it’s Green Acres in reverse, it’s tired and offensive sitcom stereotypes all over again.”

Entertainment Weekly: “I can’t say I laughed a lot, but I like the premise and kind of dig the sheer novelty of a show that doesn’t have characters forever addressing the camera. Nor do the folks here spend gobs of time coming up with cute euphemisms for their nether parts, with that being passed off as joke writing. Viva la throwback! B-”

What do you think? Does Malibu Country sound like it’s worth watching? If you’ve already seen it, will you watch again?

 

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

MartyMart in Toronto December 28, 2012 at 6:47 pm

I watch the show and will till I die. I record it and watch it when there is crap on as well like 2½ menwith charley. Reba Rocks.
Martin

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JLDOGG62 November 28, 2012 at 7:13 pm

I think it’s beautiful I have 10 yes 10 kids and we all can sit and watch it together. So I say let’s keep it going strong ok ABC

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Peg Sims November 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Give Reba a chance. It is refreshing to have a good comedy that the family can watch. There are way to many adult shows on tv and now we can enjoy this show as a family. We love it!

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Ruth November 6, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Loved it!! Hope it lasts.

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cheri November 4, 2012 at 7:57 am

I thought it was a very funny show, and I think everyone should give it a chance. I am also tired of the reality shows, and I am excited for something new and different. I thought this show was very witty and it had some good one-liners. It reminds me a little bit of the show Reba, which I absolutely loved. I am so excited I have a little bit of comedy to watch now on Fridays.

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Jean November 3, 2012 at 7:04 pm

I liked it. I am tired of reality TV shows. I like Reba M. And Lily
Tomlin is great. This show should be ok. I just hope we get too
Hear Reba sing.

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Cheryl Diamond November 3, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Although I enjoyed Reba, Malibu Country appears to be exactly the same show, but with different actors. Her husband, then Brock ,cheated on her with his dental assistant. Could they not think of another theme?

I found it to be somewhat boring, but I will continue to watch should it become more interesting.

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Ginger Ueda November 3, 2012 at 10:01 am

I loved the show.I’m so sick or reality shows,that I only watch about 2hrs of TV a week now.This show is funny!!! I never pay attention to what the critics say since their job is just that…to criticise.

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Gary November 3, 2012 at 9:45 am

Loved it. It wasn’t quite REBA but it isn’t supposed to be. Lily Tomlin, who is a Lesbian BTW, is a great and Sara Rue is looking amazing. I will definitely watch this one every weel

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Lynn November 3, 2012 at 9:12 am

I watched it and thought it was hilarious. It is actually refreshing to watch! The cast fits well together. And YES I will watch it again. There are only a few shows on television worth watching now, this is one of them. Reality shows are terrible. We need something lighthearted with humor. This show fits the bill. Lily Tomlin was great as was Reba. The great thing about this show is that Reba actually gets to sing which is what she does best! The woman is a master of the entertainment business. She sings, tours, does television, movies,broadway, has her own clothing line, etc. at Dillards and owns her own Starstruck studios in Nashville. I don’t think there is any limit as to what she can do. She has the Midas Touch. Everything she does turns to pure gold. I hope ABC keeps the show. I will be disappointed if they cancel.

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Jake November 3, 2012 at 7:29 am

So funny. A simple, light comedy with an entirely likeable cast. Who could ask for more?

To the critics: We get it. You’re too cool for a little old-school TV comedy. If it’s multicam-and-laugh track, you’re up and out, because as an all-knowing Television Critic your tastes are MUCH too sophisticated to enjoy such a simple premise and production style. Or at least to admit it.

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primetimeblabber November 3, 2012 at 5:40 am

Liked it….we all need some more scripted shows….anything is better than these crappy reality shows being shoved down our throats…..

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Lydia November 2, 2012 at 7:41 pm

I agree with Barbara. I am so tired of these reality TV shows. Malibu Country has set up such a hilarious stage for some great comedy! I am so excited to watch more! When I see reviews like this, all I can think is, were they watching the same show I did? I suppose good comedy is going to be different for everyone, but come on. Who isn’t going to laugh the naturally hysterical comedians, Reba and Lily Tomlin? No one I want to be around. And Jai Rodriguez did a great job as well. I am very excited! Don’t let these poor reviews stop you from watching it!

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Melody November 2, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Yes, my father and I would. We watch a variety of shows but when it comes to sitcoms we like to be able to watch and get some giggles and laughs without haveing some stuff shoved down our throat that we feel like we can’t watch with young children too. If this show does continue more and more homosexuality we will find other comedies to watch ……. Like reruns of Raymond, Golden Girls, Fraiser etc…..

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sylver November 3, 2012 at 1:39 am

umm Golden Girls, is a homosexual favorite, since all the woman on that sitcom loved their gays and Fraiser’s cast (David Hyde Pierce who plays Fraiser’s brother) had a gay man in the show. Raymound’s cast also loves the gays, but they are the only one out of the three who didn’t “cram” homosexuality down ur ultra-religious hypocritical ass so don’t judge

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WOW....I am very sad with America and the people in it December 24, 2012 at 2:28 am

It makes me sad that you like the show but will stop watching it if they don’t take out the homosexuality. For someone that sounds like they want to watch shows that play up to families loving and accepting each other you seem to NOT want to actually watch that. This is NOT the 1950s….Homosexuality is NO LONGER a TABOO subject and people need to realize that just because someone is different from you that does not make them bad or dangerous or anything else.
If you were NOT TOLD the person on the show was portraying a homosexual person and they did not play up the gay stereotypes (which that part of the show does annoy me ) would you have kept watching? Are you implying that the only reason you would stop watching is because there is a homosexual person that is part of the main cast and is not playing a “Bad” person? THAT MAKES ME SAD FOR YOU and what you are teaching your family is acceptable.

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Barbara November 2, 2012 at 5:52 pm

I say give it a chance. I am SO sick of reality shows, I hope ABC gives it a chance to settle inand workout the kinks before they cancel it. PLEASE!

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