This season's slate of new fall shows has been really good for funny women. With Up All Night, New Girl and Suburgatory, a new batch of female showrunners have shown that ladies can bring the giggles. And so, it seems only fair that creators Sherry Bilsing and Ellen Kreamer prove that female showrunners are also just as capable of making horribly unfunny trainwrecks as I Hate My Teenage Daughter is just as dreadful as the male-created duds of the season like Man Up! and How to Be a Gentleman.
Jaime Pressly and Katie Finneran star as Annie and Nikki, a pair of moms that grew up as outcasts and, as a result have each produced spoiled and incredibly rotten offspring that bear a strong resemblance to the girls that picked on them in high school. Both women are also divorced, but their husbands still hang around, as well as Annie's former brother-in-law (Kevin Rahm), who's the only one that possesses a brain. In an attempt to build in some more opportunities for laughs, Annie's backstory includes being brought up by religious nutcases that wouldn't allow her to go to public school (this should make for some wacky casting when the inevitable parents-come-to-visit episode comes along). Nikki's added attempts at humor seem to stem entirely from her former life as a fat girl and a need to binge on treats when she's stressed out, which happens frequently.
Pressly and Finneran are both very talented comedic actresses and it's painful to seem them wasted on roles that are so far beneath them. Annie and Nikki are hopelessly annoying characters that allow themselves to be strong-armed by their bitchy daughters. It's the daughters, though, that are the real sign of trouble in this show. In two episodes, the girls are given little more than names and sassy attitudes, with no real ability to distinguish between them except their appearance. They're little more than props. I Hate My Teenage Daughter tries to skate by on cartoonish characterization and lame jokes but even the laugh track can't cover how unfunny this comedy is.
I Hate My Teenage Daughter premieres Wednesday 8:30pm on FOX.