TV Recap: One Big Happy, Series Premiere

Written by Marley Ghizzone

One Big Happy

One Big Happy Premiere Plot Summary:

Lizzy (Elisha Cuthbert,) who is a lesbian, and her best friend Luke (Nick Zano) decide to have a child. However, a curveball is thrown their way when Luke meets Prudence (Kelly Brook), an illegal alien from England, and the two get married.

Alright. Here’s the thing. I eventually want to be a writer for a television show or even create my show. So here I see a show that someone loves. Whether they love it the way it is or they loved their initial idea, I feel bad bashing it. I can see the potential and where it could have been a great show.

Photo Credit: Eric McCandless/NBC
Photo Credit: Eric McCandless/NBC

However, One Big Happy is not an intelligent, captivating, or funny show. It was the longest half hour of my life. The only reason I even came close to cracking a smile was when Luke fell over the bar as he tries to impress Prudence.

I’m kind of sad but I am not let down. I obviously love Ellen Degeneres so I want to love anything she does. I also really like Elisha Cuthbert because she was dynamite in Happy Endings. But the commercials for One Big Happy did not give me false hope, I knew exactly what I was getting into.

The problems ultimately begin and end with the fact that the show just isn’t funny. The “jokes” are fired off in quick succession masked as cool and relevant banter. The most strident example is when Prudence and Lizzie speak in the kitchen the morning after Prudence stays the night with Luke. Prudence is completely naked while she makes coffee and Lizzie walks in. The feeling conveyed is supposed to be awkward and uncomfortable but the amount of time they spent talking to each other felt unnatural. It was just an opportunity for the writers to cram in easy, throwaway jokes.

Photo Credit: Eric McCandless/NBC
Photo Credit: Eric McCandless/NBC

It’s super unfortunate because this show had a great premise. It would have been very funny and maybe even thought-provoking. However the jokes were too easy. They went for the fast option and the actors spit out the lines like they were racing one another in a speed talking contest.

The other big issue with One Big Happy is the characters. Who is everyone supposed to be? What are the personalities? I appreciate the attempt at well-rounded female characters in Lizzie and Prudence. But, most notably, Prudence is just a mashup of the most negative stereotypes of female characters. She’s gorgeous! But stupid? And also weird! But not too weird! She wasn’t a person, she was a bulky caricature.

The low expectations I had for One Big Happy we’re not even met. This show was a spectacular failure filled with stereotypes, obvious jokes, and expository dialogue. This NBC comedy is not worth the time or commitment.

Rating: 3 out of 10

One Big Happy airs Tuesday nights on NBC.


Marley Ghizzone is the current music editor and former Breaking News Editor for The Pop Break. Aside from writing news, Marley reviews television shows and the odd film. Pop culture is her drug of choice and her talents include binge watching entire seasons of TV shows obsessively fast and crying over fictional characters. Marley is a graduate of Rowan University. Follow her on twitter: @marleyveee