First Impressions

Back To You

Aired on: FOX

Reviewed by Justine Manzano


            For those of you who have never experienced a fall season with G-POP (poor souls), I feel the need to explain the title of this column to my viewing public.  A First Impressions article is written directly after a G-POP writer views the first episode of a new series.  The writer, without any exposure to any further episodes, writes a review containing what they liked, what they didnít like, and the likelihood that they will survive.  First on the list (and first new show I bothered to watch) was FOXís news desk comedy, Back to You.

            Back to You stars sitcom veterans Kelsey Grammer (Frasier, and of course, Cheers) and Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond) as news anchors Chuck Darling and Kelly Carr, who worked together 10 years in the past at a local Pittsburgh news station, and are reunited after Darling has an onscreen bitch-fit that ends up all over You Tube and gets him kicked off of his big-time LA station.  Sharing the screen with them is Ryan Church (Josh Gad) who is the News Director at the lovable local station, Gary Crezyzewski (Ty Burrell, Out of Practice), the correspondent who always gets sent to the worst places, overly sexed weather girl Montana Stevens (Ayda Field of last seasons defunct but awesome Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip), and Marsh McGinley (Fred Willard, another beloved vet, with guest appearances oh, letís just say EVERYWHERE,) playingÖpretty much the same character he always plays.  As Chuck and Kelly try to adapt to the return of their partnership, some very interesting issues of their past come out, leaving the viewer surprised at the outcome.

            So, my analysis?  Back to You is funny.  Stars Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton donít feel remotely like their past characters, a fact that is especially notable for Grammer who has probably played Frasier Crane for more years than Iíve been alive.  The pair is interesting, and watching Grammer play the jerk Frasier probably would have been if he wasnít so damn likeable, is a fun treat.  The supporting cast has equal potential to be funny as it has to be cookie-cutter background noise.  I think it was a great idea to add the little twist they added (which I am purposely not telling you Ė watch the show), as it saved the series from being just a story about an anchor desk and made it into something a little more. 

            The final statement?  ; Back to You has a lot of potential.  What it has to do is flesh out its surrounding characters.  After simply one episode, I can tell you that this show will have some very funny moments.  Still, I find that I am on the fence about this one.  Itís got the right chemicals to mix, but Iím not sure it has the umph necessary to make it work past a season.  Only time will tell.  In the meantime, I will keep watching and enjoying the funny, and (though I rarely do), I will hope it succeeds in FOXís often-carnivorous line-up.  Many shows donít make it through. 


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