‘Sophie’ on ABC Family

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Canadian actress Natalie Brown(actress) has really great eyebrows. Also, a lovely smile. In fact, she’s very pretty all around, and no doubt has a bright and shining future.

There, I’ve said something nice.

“Sophie,” the ABC Family comedy in which she stars, on the other hand, is painful to watch.

Here is a quick quiz for anyone currently, or hoping to be, a member of the television industry: No script should ever require an eight-months-pregnant single woman to lie in bed on her back delivering weepy monologues to her gay best friend after her dastardly boyfriend takes off with a blond starlet who was also her best friend because: a) it violates the FCC’s three-cliche-per-scene limit, b) Rupert Everett and Madonna already did this and look what happened to them, c) it is physically impossible for an eight-months-pregnant woman to lie on her back for any length of time without asphyxiating herself, or d) all of the above.


The pilot starts out with Sophie, pregnant in that could-you-hold-this-basketball-while-I-slip-on-my-really-cute-snuggy way that drives so many female television viewers to drink, visiting a fortune teller.

Unfortunately, this fortune teller is so High Hoodoo that the NAACP may want to get involved. Eyes all but rolling back in his head, he informs her that she is about to have her worst year ever and that just when she thinks she is at the bottom, she will realize she has just begun to fall.

You know, sometimes those writers make it too easy to be a critic.

In short order, we meet her BFF Matt (Jeff Geddis), a doctor mercifully free of standard gay conceits, except, of course, the neurotic best girlfriend. He knows Sophie’s boyfriend, Rick (Sebastian Spence), is a rat, and moments later so do we. Not only does Rick unceremoniously dump Sophie and her basketball for the above mentioned actress, he ruins Sophie’s business too.

See, Sophie runs her late father’s talent agency, and Rick was also her partner. Off he goes, in a hail of shattered framed head shots, taking the client list and even the secretary with him. Only aging diva Estelle (Sara Botsford in many scarves and bracelets) and her requisite smart-mouth Chinese daughter remain. Poor Sophie.

Now there is nothing wrong with the idea of a young single mother and her gay best friend amusingly attempting to raise a child, and each other, while balancing work and romance, not to mention Estelle. It’s “Will and Grace” meets “Two and a Half Men,” and frankly, it’s surprising no one has tried it sooner.

It’s possible “Sophie” could improve in subsequent episodes -- only one was made available for review -- but if the opening credit sequence is any indication, chances are not good. Meanwhile, “Roommates,” which also premieres tonight on ABC Family, was not available for review. Make of this what you will.




‘Roommates’ and ‘Sophie’

Where: ABC Family

When: 9 and 9:30 tonight

Ratings: “Roommates” TV-14-DL (may be unsuitable for children under the age of 14 with advisories for suggestive dialogue and coarse language).

“Sophie” TV-14-DLS (may be unsuitable for children under the age of 14 with advisories for suggestive dialogue, coarse language and sex).