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Patricia Heaton Returns to TV with Carol’s Second Act: TV Review

Patricia Heaton makes her return to CBS starring in a new comedy about a woman who pursues her dream career as a medical doctor forced to sink or swim among her millennial fellow interns.  

Veteran actor Kyle MacLachlin (Twin Peaks) appears as senior attending Dr. Frost, and Ashley Tisdale (High School Musical) joins the cast as Carol’s supportive daughter. 

Following in the success of CBS’s recently wrapped Big Bang Theory, this half-hour sitcom joins the resurgence of multi-camera shows filmed live before a studio audience.  The jokes are frequent and seek to entertain a target audience of ages 50+ while exploiting the generational gap and cultural differences between Carol and her younger comrades. In one instance, Carol defends herself against a critical younger supervisor declaring, “My age is what’s gonna make me a great doctor!” 

Each character is presented as a stereotype, and all are quick to make fun of their own idiosyncrasies.  Among Carol’s fellow interns, Lexi describes herself as “queer” and “diverse,” Daniel often preens himself and touts his academic achievements, and Caleb is a modern hippie who is not opposed to diving in high-end grocery store dumpsters for snacks.  

The show is early in its season, and the ensemble cast has yet to attain the chemistry needed for seamless comedic timing. For now, the cast is a bit disjointed and the punchlines forced. The laughter, however, is not canned. It seems the studio audience had an uproarious good time, and Patricia Heaton’s sitcom skills and charm will likely pull the cast together soon and easily win over viewers. 

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Viewers should be aware there are references to sex and some mature language. 

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