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Thursday March 30, 2006 4:58 pm

Freddie: Freddie And The Hot Mom

FreddieFollowing last night’s Eva Longoria festooned 100th episode of The George Lopez Show, I looked again at Freddie, another ABC-TV Latino comedy. This one is in its freshman year and stars Freddie Prinze Jr. From the same team that gave us the George Lopez and Drew Carey sitcoms, Freddie exhibits the aforementioned series’ flaws, too. The stories are simple and tired, reminiscent of American Vaudeville sketches, and the dialogue is dull.

Charming, handsome, and talented, Prinze Jr. is poorly served by this barely mediocre vehicle. Most episodes, including last night’s tepid shenanigans, focus on Freddie’s attempt to get - and to keep - a woman, despite interference from a well-intentioned, but disaster-prone, live in family.

The cast has snap, crackle, pop that begs better words be put in their mouths, and stronger situations between their script covers.  Freddie has great chemistry with Brian Austin Green, who plays his dim, egocentric, libidinous buddy.  As Grandma, Jenny Gago steals every scene in which she appears, and the show’s best dialogue is reflected in her Spanglish to English translation titles.

“Freddie and the Hot Mom” had Prinze enamored of his niece’s friend’s comely mother.  First, the daughter is against Freddie dating her mom.  Later, Prinze’s niece Zoey feels threatened by her uncle’s new girlfriend. If one’s plot is nonsense, then it had better be inspired nonsense.  Lucy’s was.  Freddie’s is not. 

Certainly I appreciate the difficulty of churning out Seinfeld or Will & Grace-sharp dialogue every week.  But Freddie’s consistently anemic scripts make the series fall into the category of “don’t see” TV.

Prinze deserve better, as do his cast and crew.

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