October 27, 2012
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Reba McEntire moves to 'Malibu'
By Bill Harris, QMI Agency


Reba McEntire stars in Malibu Country.

Apparently somebody decided that the C in ABC should stand for "country."

After all, there's a new sitcom this season called Malibu Country, starring none other than country music legend Reba McEntire, debuting Friday on ABC and Citytv.

And Malibu Country comes on the boot-heels of the new drama Nashville, which debuted earlier this month and is airing Wednesdays on ABC and CTV Two.

While Nashville is set in that particular city, the plot of Malibu Country is about leaving Nashville and moving west to Malibu, with all the culture clashes such a trek would enable.

In fact, connections have been drawn between Connie Britton's character in Nashville and the real-life Reba, who has sold more than 56 million albums and CDs worldwide -- you know, back when people bought albums and CDs.

"I'm in that business (country music) for true life," said McEntire when asked if she'd ever want to take on a dramatic role in a TV show about the country music scene. "I like this one (Malibu Country) better. I want to play an imaginary character having fun in Malibu.

"Now, guest"'starring on (Nashville), that would be a hoot. I'd like to do that. Then I get to play Reba in this one and then go over there and maybe play Reba McEntire as a guest spot. That's a pretty good idea."

Uh, this is getting complicated. So for the moment let's stick to Malibu Country, which, trust me, is decidedly not complicated.

Reba -- the character on Malibu Country -- put her music career on hold to raise a family with her husband Bobby, himself a country music superstar. But after Bobby's numerous affairs become public knowledge, Reba decides not to stand by her man.

I won't spoil it, but I did laugh at the name of Bobby's tour, which he suspends due to the scandal.

With a divorce pending, Reba packs up her two kids and her mom Lillie Mae (Lily Tomlin) and moves to Malibu to begin a new chapter -- living in Bobby's previously secret love nest, no less. But leaving Nashville behind is easier to do geographically than emotionally.

For example, Reba's teenage son Cash (Justin Prentice) quickly decides he'd rather head back to Nashville, where he'd be considered good-looking again. In Malibu, he laments, everyone's good-looking, even the ugly people.

McEntire previously starred in her own sitcom, appropriately titled Reba, from 2001 to 2007. Stylistically, the humour in Malibu Country is similar.

"All my fans are totally excited about this show, they're very glad we're back on television," McEntire said.

On both ABC and Citytv, Malibu Country directly follows the second season of the Tim Allen sitcom Last Man Standing, and the two shows deserve each other, in both the positive and negative senses of that phrase.

Both are straight-forward, throwback sitcoms. Kinda cute, kinda corny, charming but simple, and you certainly don't have to think too much.

Comedy has many moods, as they say. Or maybe no one says that, I don't know. The point being, Malibu Country is as simple as ABC.

 




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