ABC Family was hoping to hit comedic gold with last night's premiere of Melissa & Joey. The return of Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence definitely hit the mark for cutesy family fun with a bit of a grownup edge.
Between the banter from the former teenage witch and the no longer fair-haired pretty boy, the network gave us a blast from the past with the return of the '90s child stars.
Schooled in the ways of family friendly sitcoms on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Clarissa Explains It All, and Blossom, Hart and Lawrence are seasoned sitcom experts with a fresh-faced appeal. Their affable charm and obvious chemistry leaves you with a feel-good reaction to the basic sitcom premise.
The series starts with Hart attempting to juggle her political career while taking care of her precocious niece and nephew following their parents's incarceration in federal prison. Lawrence makes his entrance as Joe, a former commodities broker who has lost everything due to actions of Hart's sister and brother-in-law.
Joe manages to insert himself into her life following a press conference. The two soon come to realize that they can overcome their differences and work together. Thus Joe signs up to be Mel's live-in manny. It's a little bit Who's the Boss, a little bit Charles in Charge, a whole lot of cute sitcom fun.
Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence have a proven track record with ABC Family having scored a knockout with last year's My Fake Fiance. With Melissa & Joey, there are high hopes that the network can garner it's first breakout sitcom hit.
Melissa & Joey will strike a cord with the audience who grew up watching Hart and Lawrence navigate their teenage years on Blossom and Sabrina. The content is a bit risque for very young children yet a fabulous fit for anyone who dreamed of running their fingers through Lawrence's teenage head of hair. As the duo gets more comfortable with the concept and their characters, their natural rapore should carry the show into a real sitcom hit.
Photo: ABC Family