Reba (TV series)

Caproni

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REBA is one of those country-fried sitcoms that I've always enjoyed. I remember it being on during its original run, and it being one of the few shows my family would all agree to watch together, which was really a feat in itself because our viewing preferences are diverse.

The synopsis of REBA is not necessarily groundbreaking. Reba Hart is a recent divorcee whose husband, Brock (Christopher Rich), has ran off to marry his pregnant secretary Barbara Jean (Melissa Petterman). Reba and Brock have three children together: Cheyenne (Joanna Garcia), a preppy cheerleader, Kyra (Scarlett Pomers), a sarcastic music lover, and Jake (Mitch Holleman), their cute young son. At the start of the series, while Reba and Brock's marriage is falling a part, Cheyenne learns she is pregnant by Van (Steve Howey), a football player from her high school. They soon marry and Van's family basically disowns him.

What I've always liked REBA is that it is a fairly clean show. After they first few episodes they cleaned up all the language and it really is a good family-friendly show. The humor is good, and so is the writing and acting.

Any fans?

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Daniel Avery

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I liked it well enough, though it wasn't a show I sought out to watch. I'd watch an episode here or there if I landed on it during channel surfing.

Like you said, it wasn't offensive, and Reba M showed she could carry a sitcom. The premise certainly stacked the problems on her character's back, especially Barbara Jean insisting on being "friends" with Reba despite the...er, situation with Brock. Peterman is very fun to watch, and I've been a fan of Chris Rich since his days as Sandy Cory on Another World.
 

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I think I may have seen it once or twice but it never really got a run here. If it was moved to graveyard slot I didn't follow it.
 

Caproni

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I liked it well enough, though it wasn't a show I sought out to watch. I'd watch an episode here or there if I landed on it during channel surfing.

Like you said, it wasn't offensive, and Reba M showed she could carry a sitcom. The premise certainly stacked the problems on her character's back, especially Barbara Jean insisting on being "friends" with Reba despite the...er, situation with Brock. Peterman is very fun to watch, and I've been a fan of Chris Rich since his days as Sandy Cory on Another World.
That's my favorite thing about the show --- it wasn't offensive. It was a contemporary family-friendly comedy. They dealt with real issues and all without being crude and vulgar. I like that.

Melissa Petterman is one of the best parts of the show. Barbara Jean was annoying and she was "the other woman", but you still somehow felt sorry for her. And she was probably the funniest character there was. I recall one episode where Barbara Jean threw Kyra a very childish birthday party. Kyra scolds Barbara Jean in the kitchen, and Reba scolds Kyra for being rude to her stepmother. You could see the hurt on Barbara Jean's face and you felt genuinely sorry for Kyra being so rude to her.

I'm seriously considering order to REBA box set off Amazon. It's under $30.00 right now, and it is really a show I'd like to have. Once we're married, we aren't going to have television or any online streaming services, so I'm trying to stock up on my DVDs and things like that. It'll be a welcomed addition to my ever-growing collection.
 

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The first season was certainly more saucy than the later seasons. It still wasn't too broad, but the humor was a little more adult and there was more innuendo. The "BJ" gag was actually kind of racy and tongue-in-cheek. Park Overall was in like seven of the first season episodes as Reba's good friend Lori Ann who had just moved back to Houston. Her Southern accent coupled with a dry delivery and sort of racy humor was lost in the transition once Reba got a stronger control of the series.
 

Daniel Avery

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I can see why the producers would create Lori Ann as someone from outside the family for Reba to complain to/confide in, given the situation. As time wore on and the pain/anger from the divorce subsided somewhat (turning into sarcasm!), Lori Ann wasn't needed as much. Which is a shame because I love Park Overall; her Laverne character on Empty Nest was such a treat to watch every week. I also suspect the WB made the show more "saucy" in an effort to draw fans over and above the built-in audience that Reba McEntire would draw (what the TV execs would derisively call the "rural audience"--country music fans). Once they determined that the more adult tone actually repelled the core audience rather than draw in new viewers, they likely decided to tone it down and be a more typical family-friendly sitcom.
 

Caproni

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I can see why the producers would create Lori Ann as someone from outside the family for Reba to complain to/confide in, given the situation. As time wore on and the pain/anger from the divorce subsided somewhat (turning into sarcasm!), Lori Ann wasn't needed as much. Which is a shame because I love Park Overall; her Laverne character on Empty Nest was such a treat to watch every week. I also suspect the WB made the show more "saucy" in an effort to draw fans over and above the built-in audience that Reba McEntire would draw (what the TV execs would derisively call the "rural audience"--country music fans). Once they determined that the more adult tone actually repelled the core audience rather than draw in new viewers, they likely decided to tone it down and be a more typical family-friendly sitcom.
She is an interesting personality. I tend to agree with you opinions here.

Yeah, I think the fans of REBA probably generally prefer the later seasons, or anything post-season one, when the show was softened and more family-friendly. It works better as a softer, kinder comedy. That "southern fried" humor is the way REBA is meant to be enjoyed.
 

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Park Overall. That must be one of the most unusual names I've ever seen on screen. It sounds like some kind of leisure wear.
I always have to do a double-take with her name. It's unique, that's for sure.
 

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I finished the first season of REBA last night on Hulu. I had spent the past two weeks flipping through the episodes I remembered the most before deciding just to start from the beginning and see where this journey is going to take me. In total, I probably remembered about half of this season's twenty-two episodes, a few of them kind of, and a few were practically new. They're only like twenty-two minutes in length, and that's including the opening intro, so it didn't take me too long to slide right on through this pilot season.

There were several episodes, like I said, that I clearly remember watching before this viewing. I actually remembered the first episode, simply called "Pilot", very well, and it was just as good as I remembered it. I find the setup in the court mandated family therapy to be very funny, and their therapist is quite funny in herself. She's only in like two episodes, but I wish she were in more. Another episode I really remembered was the fifth episode called "The Steaks Are High", which is the one where Reba agrees to make the pre-football game meal at her house and accidentally buys the wrong potato salad. The entire episode is her trying to correct her wrong, even though it was technically Cheyenne that bought the wrong brand of potato salad. Funny stuff.

I also remembered "Tea and Antipathy", the seventh episode, where Van wrongly thinks that his parents have invited both he and Cheyenne to move into their home, but has misunderstood that the invitation is solely for him and not his new bride. There are many other episodes that triggered my memory, such as "Every Picture Tells a Story", the ninth episode, where Reba finds an old picture which leads her to believe that Brock and Barbara Jean's affair had originated years earlier, and "Meets the Parents", the eleventh episode, where Reba's parents come for a visit and Reba's mother sparks a relationship with Barbara Jean.

There's other episodes that I also remember, but I won't continue into that rehashing of those premises. You can easily look them up on Google.

There's a few good guest stars this first season. My mind instantly goes to Park Overall, who we've already discussed here, as Reba's good friend Lori Ann. Overall's sassy Southern fried delivery makes her a good counterpart to Reba and rival of Brock. I understand why the network and writers eventually edged her out, but she's funny in the six episodes she's in this season. Julia Duffy, of NEWHART and DESIGNING WOMEN fame, appears in a handful of episodes as Mrs. Hodge, the snotty principal of the high school Van and Cheyenne attend. She is embarrassed by Cheyenne's teenage pregnancy, and tries to edge her into a "special" school for pregnant teenagers. She shows up in the season finale to bring Cheyenne her diploma at home, hoping she will decide not to attend the graduation ceremony at school. Barry Corbin and Dorothy Lyman show up as Reba's parents, and they are a delight too.

The first season of REBA is a good start. I'm looking forward to seeing how drastic the changes are for season two.
 

Emelee

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I liked it. I especially liked Cheyenne & Van (aside from Reba of course).
It wasn't epic or a 10/10 series, but absolutely good enough to enjoy.
 

Caproni

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I liked it. I especially liked Cheyenne & Van (aside from Reba of course).
It wasn't epic or a 10/10 series, but absolutely good enough to enjoy.
I'm almost ten episodes into the second season, and I am thoroughly enjoying REBA during this complete re-watch. The writing, I find, to be very solid and the performances and humor are good as well. I find myself laughing out loud several times per episode.
 

Caproni

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Just put it all together and figured out that it is Nell Carter, star of GIMME A BREAK in the 1980s, who played the family's sassy therapist, Dr. Susan Peters.
 

Daniel Avery

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Oh, yes, I remember now that you mention her. I saw her in one episode and assumed she was a one-episode guest star. Gimme a Break was a 1980s favorite of mine, and lord knows she'd be the perfect person to knock some sense into that oddball family of Reba's.
 
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