'Bless This Mess' tries hard to be funny and innovative but ends up looking like a fish out of water
'Bless This Mess' is distinctively similar to the 1965 series 'Green Acre.' Because of its similarity, the series doesn't seem totally like an original. It misses its Nebraska mark.
ABC might be on a roll this year with a lot of series slated to release in the forthcoming months, but 'Bless This Mess' is something that the network could have done better with. Prepare yourselves for some fake laughter as 'Bless This Mess' premieres on ABC on Tuesday. When you start watching the series, it riles you up but then eventually it goes nowhere.
The series revolves around a married couple —Rio (Lake Bell), a therapist and Mike (Dax Shepard), a music journalist— who decide to ditch their life in New York and move to rural Nebraska to live a simpler life in Mike's late aunt's home. They quit their jobs to move to the countryside so they can start farming. But little do they know that they are in for a big surprise.
'Bless This Mess' is distinctively similar to the 1965 series 'Green Acre.' Because of its similarity to 'Green Acre' and a few other series, 'Bless This Mess' doesn't seem totally like an original. It misses its Nebraska mark.
The minute the yuppie couple moves into their (not so) new house in Nebraska the entire place begins to fall apart from under their feet. That's not all, they find a hole in the ceiling and worse they find a strange man using their bathroom. Is this how real Nebraska is? No, it's not. Is this Hollywood's view of the state? It most definitely is. 'Bless This Mess' is written and directedly by Lake Bell and Elizabeth Meriwether, the series has a lot of holes that need to be fixed, not just in the house but the show all over.
After watching the first three episodes of the series, one can easily identify how it portrays Rio and Mike as a naive couple who don't know head or tail about living in the countryside. Maybe this was their way of adding a comedy element to the series, but they could have surely done better. You would be left with silly guesses that anyone would have thought of. The major one is why would a couple not visit the house before they decide to move to the West?
Though the series showcases a “Welcome to Nebraska” sign in the first episode, we do not see anything else that relevant to the state or features its hallmarks. At the same time, not all is lost with the series because it does have Pam Grier who plays the role of the county sheriff amongst other things. She portrays herself to be both tough and tender at the same time.
Apart from Grier, the couple also has a pair of neighbors who follow them like hawks in order to buy the house from them. Their dim-witted son who is played by JT Neal is another one to look out for. His inappropriate comments like “I love wood" at the most inappropriate times should elicit a chuckle or two
The other humor that is shared by the series is very much like a fish out of water scenario. For example when Rio who is scared of cows comes face to face with one. She calls her bossy mother for help. Though the couple might be portrayed as someone who isn't aware of the countryside, the chemistry they share is one reason you would want to watch the series.
One way the series can develop is by sinking more into the state's culture, its obsession with football, and maybe about how the neighbors are very welcoming even if the newcomers are like fish out of water in the state.
Overall the series might be a good diversion for its airtime. But it is less likely to be renewed for another season.