'One Big Happy': You May Want to Close Your Eyes and Ears

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·Critic-at-Large, Yahoo Entertainment
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  • Kelly Brook
    Kelly Brook
    British actress and model

One Big Happy is a loud, frantic sitcom so eager to please, you may want to avert your eyes. That’s assuming you continue watching past an early punchline, which I will now quote in full: “Vagina, right on the chair!” 

The person who utters that phrase — delivered just after a naked woman has indeed sat upon a chair — is Elisha Cuthbert. In One Big Happy, she plays Lizzy, a gay woman who’s pregnant with the child of her straight best friend, Luke (Nick Zano). Over the course of the premiere episode, Luke meets, falls in love with, and marries a zany British woman, Prudence (Kelly Brook). Gay, straight, British — yep, One Big Happy is going after all possible sexual preferences in its viewership. By the end of the pilot, Lizzy, Luke, and Pru are one small moderately cheerful faux family unit living together.

I Googled Kelly Brook, curious about her credits, and was greeted with an array of what we used to call “cheesecake” photos that established Brook as a former favorite of British tabloid newspapers and FHM Magazine, and which convinced my wife that I was doing something other than writing a TV review. 

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Although Brook is charming on One Big Happy, and her previous employment overseas has included hosting talk shows, acting, and modeling, Wikipedia, our Great Leveler, reduces her accomplishments to one devastating phrase: “best known for her role in the 2010 horror comedy remake Piranha 3D.” 

In any case, Brook spends a fair amount of time in One Big Happy’s first episode not wearing clothes, pixilated in a manner that suggests bounteous gifts from God. Pru’s free-spirited nudity inspires a second exclamation from Lizzy, upon receiving a hug from Pru: “Wow, vagina right on my leg!” Now does not seem the right time to add that One Big Happy is produced by Ellen DeGeneres, but there it is. 

Through partially closed eyes, I looked at episode two, which found Pru opening boxes of her belongings sent from England. Holding up an animal cast in porcelain, she clutched it to her (clothed) breast and crowed, “Oh, look, it’s my granny’s cock!”
Lizzy, to Luke: “She meant a rooster.”
Luke, to Lizzie: “Oh, thank God.”
Really, that’s what you thank God for? Not for the subplot about being scared by marionettes?

One Big Happy airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on NBC.