Arts & EntertainmentTelevision

‘One Big Happy’

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Ellen DeGeneres’ new lesbian sitcom launches March 17
by Bradley Donalson

What could possibly go wrong when a lesbian decides to have a baby with her straight best friend? The best friend falling for a hot British bartender who enjoys being naked.

A different kind of family: Nick Zano, Elisha Cuthbert, and Kelly Brook star in the new sitcom One Big Happy. Photo courtesy of NBCUniversal.
A different kind of family: Nick Zano, Elisha Cuthbert, and Kelly Brook star in the new sitcom One Big Happy. Photo courtesy of NBCUniversal.

One Big Happy revolves around Type A lesbian Lizzy (Elisha Cuthbert, Happy Endings) and her laid-back, straight roommate and childhood best friend Luke (Nick Zano, 2 Broke Girls). Lizzy and Luke are both single when she convinces him to father her child through artificial insemination. Luke then meets Prudence (Kelly Brook, Smallville), and the two enter into a weeklong wild romance that culminates in their marriage and the announcement that Lizzy is pregnant. Now all three roommates must come together to form a different, unexpected kind of family.

One Big Happy is executive-produced by Ellen DeGeneres along with Jeff Kleeman (The Change Up) and writer Liz Feldman (2 Broke Girls). The show, according to numerous interviews, is loosely based on Feldman’s life—she is a single lesbian who decided to have a baby with her best friend before he started dating someone. The show presents her story in a way that gives it the potential to be both entertaining and progressive.

Of course, some things fail to meet their potential. Some of the jokes in the trailers seem to fall a little flat to people not on the laugh-track, and the queer-baiting of an attractive lesbian on the show coupled with a sexy woman who is frequently naked seems like it might be a little heavy-handed. As far as the plot is concerned, it looks to be your standard sitcom fare of verbal slaps and falling down, but the previews might be hiding something more interesting down the line. Hopefully, DeGeneres will step in and work a little magic to elevate the show beyond the setup that looks like two women fighting over a man’s attention.

As far as One Big Happy is concerned, I remain cautiously optimistic. The jokes might be funnier in context, and there may be a hidden plot that is going to drive the story forward. Add in a lesbian writer and DeGeneres’ influence, and it might end up being something worth watching. Of course, when the funniest line in the trailers comes from an unnamed nurse, a little bit of caution may be warranted. Either way, it is something that deserves a shot.

One Big Happy airs Tuesday nights at 8:30 p.m. CST on NBC after its premiere on March 17. More information and trailers for the show can be found at www.nbc.com/one-big-happy.

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Bradley Donalson

Bradley Donalson is a frequent contributor to OutSmart magazine.
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