TV Review: FOX’s Absolutely Awful ‘I Hate My Teenage Daughter’

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CHICAGOFOX’s “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” is so horrendous that there were rumors, after it was picked up by the network and pilots were sent out to press last May, that the network heads might change their mind and decide not to air the show at all. That would have been the nice to do to the American public. An easy choice for the worst new show of the year (especially now that contenders “Free Agents” and “How to Be a Gentleman” have been axed), this offensively bad sitcom should be canceled before Christmas if Santa gets my wish list. Television Rating: 0.0/5.0
Television Rating: 0.0/5.0

Almost as if they’re going for a record number of unlikable characters, “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” features two single moms with their own serious issues with self-confidence and parenthood dealing with their awful offspring in unbelievable ways. The twist is that the always-texting, mini-skirt-wearing daughters of our put-upon leads are not designed to be objects of derision but almost admiration. It’s as if the mother characters hate their teenage daughters not because their teenage daughters are bad people who need correction but because they wish they were more like them. In other words, the show takes the bad girl behavior popularized by reality TV and puts it on a pedestal. Of course, there’s a hyopcritical turn-around that suggests maybe parenthood is a good idea for these girls, but it’s too little, too late. It would be offensive if it wasn’t so remarkably stupid.

I Hate My Teenage Daughter
I Hate My Teenage Daughter
Photo credit: FOX

The saddest thing about “IHMTD” is that star Jaime Pressly is a talented actress. She was stellar on “My Name is Earl” and I’d love for her to find a leading role that really capitalized on her skills. This isn’t it. Pressly plays Annie, a former good girl with a bad girl daughter named Sophie (Kristi Lauren). Annie is brest friends with Nikki (Katie Finneran), a formerly overweight nerd who treats her daughter Mackenzie (Aisha Dee) like the cool at school who never paid her any attention. In fact, the girl at school who once tormented Annie & Nikki is now their daughter’s principal (Wendi McClendon-Covey).

FOX has made a notable move to draw a larger female audience to the male-centric network. It’s worked remarkably well with one of the best new shows of the year, the hit “New Girl.” Everything that works about “New Girl” falls flat here. This is stereotypical, horrendous television writing, the kind of screeching, laugh track-assisted humor that simply never once connects with the funny bone. There’s not a single laugh in the premiere, an episode of television that took me multiple attempts to get through.

Honestly, I’m not even sure what more there is to say about “I Hate My Teenage Daughter” other than that I hate it. Here’s where a critic would normally get into detail on plot problems or praise, acting, tone, pacing, etc. NONE of it works. It’s the worst sitcom in years (since the Bob Saget vehicle “Surviving Suburbia,” which still haunts my nightmares). Please don’t watch it. If I have to review it again, I may question my life decisions.

“I Hate My Teenage Daughter” stars Jaime Pressly, Katie Finneran, Kristi Lauren, Aisha Dee, Eric Sheffer Stevens, Kevin Rahm, Chad L. Coleman, and Wendi McClendon-Covey. It premieres on FOX on November 30th, 2011 at 8:30pm CST. content director Brian Tallerico

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