Mar 30, 2017

‘Imaginary Mary’ Review: Jenna Elfman Sitcom From ‘Goldbergs’ Trio A Bad Dream

There is, as I say in my video review above, nothing imaginative about ABC’s Imaginary Mary. Debuting tonight at 8:30 PM in a preview after The Goldbergs before moving to its regular Tuesday slot following Fresh Off The Boat on April 4, the sitcom from Goldbergs trio Adam F. Goldberg, David Guarascio and Happy Madison may have seemed like a good idea once, but it turned out to be more of a bad dream in the end.

Tired, dull and cliché-heavy, the series starring Jenna Elfman and Rachel Dratch focuses on a career-centric woman who sees the imaginary friend from her lonely childhood return to help her maneuver through a new relationship with a divorced dad of three. High jinks do not ensue, to put it mildly.

The possibilities in the mix of live action and animation alone could be rich here, but the nine-episode midseason result is all misfire. Which is a real shame for the miscast Dharma And Greg actress, as well as Broad City alum Stephen Schneider, who plays the love interest of Elfman’s Alice. It is even more of a loss for deeply talented ex-Saturday Night Live cast member Dratch, who is ill served by both the writing and the CGI.

Take a look at the video review above to see more of what I think about Imaginary Mary, but the fact is this neither charming, funny nor delightful comedy just isn’t worth your time.

When a player is averaging a triple-double for the season — something that has only been done once before, in a league that has had the likes of Michael Jordan and LeBron James — and the feat is dismissed as empty numbers, then there’s a problem. When an argument against Westbrook is that the Thunder — who should realistically be chasing the eighth or seventh seed, and not the fourth — are not one of the top two teams in the league, then there’s a huge problem. And that problem is not Russell Westbrook.

Just as you do not judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, Westbrook should not be judged by the standards of Harden. Just as Harden should not be judged on the merits of Kawhi Leonard. And Leonard on LeBron James. They are not the same kinds of players, and they are not doing the same things. Harden is leading a resurgent team that is designed to take high quality shots, and he’s doing so at an unprecedented level.

Westbrook is not perfect, and he could certainly be more efficient, but he is also being asked to be an entire offense on his own. He is being asked to be a savior. It’s a role that fits him as much as being a genius facilitator fits Harden. The savior role indulges Westbrook’s ego and defiant attitude. He’s also one of the few players who can handle a team’s failures squarely on his shoulders. The same reason why he takes transition threes over two defenders is the same reason he is perfect for this Thunder team: Westbrook fantastically believes he can do it all. He’s so confident that he can, that the idea and fear of failure doesn’t seem to register for him.

The theme of the Thunder this season has been a simple and urgent plea: “Westbrook, please save us.” That’s how it was against the Rockets, the Mavericks, and the Magic. When other players would scoff at having to exhaust himself every game just to give his team a chance at winning, Westbrook embraces the challenge. He entered this situation without Durant, without Serge Ibaka, with only an outside chance of making the playoffs — whether down 20-plus points, 13 points with three minutes left, or 14 points in the fourth — and asked why not? Why not the Thunder? And especially why not him?

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