OK, I know it isn’t the coolest thing I’ve ever admitted to, but, try as I might, I cannot keep quiet about my latest TV obsession. And that’s because Lifetime’s new original sitcom “Rita Rocks”, well…rocks! Yes, I said Lifetime, as in, “Television for Women”, but if loving this sweet, classically-funny sitcom makes me a lady, then, braid my hair and call me Sally, because I love it!
“Rita Rocks” isn’t exactly revolutionary by TV standards, but it is a great, laugh-out-loud, working-class sitcom, and seeing as there hasn’t been a decent one of those on the airwaves since “Rosanne”, this show is like a breath of fresh air.
The concept here is simple. Rita, (played by former “Mad TV” regular, Nicole Sullivan) fronted a Bangles cover band in her youth and gave it all up to be a wife and mom. And then one day, while folding towels at the Bed, Bath and Beyond-ish superstore she works at, Rita realizes something is missing from her life and decides to get back into her music.
So, with the grudging support of her two daughters (a pitch-perfect Natalie Dreyfuss and Kelly Gould) and goofy, sitcom-perfect husband (Richard Ruccolo), Rita forms a garage band. And with Rita on guitar, her postal carrier best friend, Patty (played by former “Martin” hottie, Tisha Campbell-Martin), on keys, unemployed next door neighbor, Owen (Ian Gomez), on cello, and her daughter’s boyfriend, Kip (Ricky Ullman) on drums, the band takes flight.
I know, it sounds like a cutsey premise, and, well, maybe it is. But the characters are real, warm and very funny and the show is kinda awesome because of it. And on top of all that, the band actually sounds really good together when they play. I mean, I always thought Sullivan and Campbell were hilarious, but who knew they could sing too? Whoa…
Like I said, this isn’t exactly “Twin Peaks” or anything, but “Rita Rocks” is the kind of good, old-fashioned sitcom the major networks used to excel at. The fact that “Rita” airs on cable just shows you how far the mighty networks have fallen in my book. But, hey, if I have to watch Lifetime to get my sitcom fix, so be it.
So, if you find yourself hankering for a fun, well-written show with a rocking-good cast, check out “Rita Rocks” Monday nights at 8:30PM on Lifetime. And if you wanna really channel your inner girlie man, stick around for the Lifetime movies afterwards…they’re fabulous!