The Class (TV series)
The Class is a sitcom which originally ran on CBS from September 18, 2006 to March 5, 2007. The series followed the lives of eight very different alumni of the fictional Woodman Elementary School. The show was created by David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik's production company CraneKlarik in association with Warner Bros. Television.
|Created by||David Crane
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||19 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||David Crane
|Producer(s)||Lisa Helfrich Jackson
Warner Bros. Studios
|Running time||30 minutes|
Warner Bros. Television
|Picture format||480i (SDTV),
|Original release||September 18, 2006– March 5, 2007|
CBS announced on May 15, 2007 that The Class would not be renewed for a second season.
The Class The series revolves around a core group of eight 28-year-olds who were all in the same third-grade class 20 years ago. A former classmate brings them all together for a party to celebrate his engagement to a girl he met in the class. However, she ends up dumping him at the party as the reunited classmates get to know each other. "They have separate lives and there are few connections that exist beforehand," Klarik said. "But through the course of the series, connections are made between the characters. It's about following their individual lives -— there's no one living room where they gather."
Beyond the core eight, Crane and Klarik said the show would be populated by several other recurring characters.
Cast and charactersEdit
- Jason Ritter as Ethan Haas
- Lizzy Caplan as Kat Warbler
- Heather Goldenhersh as Lina Warbler
- Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Richie Velch
- Jon Bernthal as Duncan Carmello
- Andrea Anders as Nicole Allen (née Campbell)
- Sean Maguire as Kyle Lendo
- Lucy Punch as Holly Ellenbogen
- Julie Halston as Tina Carmello
- David Keith as Yonk Allen
- Sam Harris as Perry Pearl
- Jaime King as Palmer Wyland
- Sara Gilbert as Fern Velch
- Cristián de la Fuente as Aaron
- Karley Scott Collins as Oprah Pearl
- Trent Ford as Benjamin Chow
- Ethan L. Haas planned the ultimate surprise party for his beloved fiancée, Joanne Richman (Casey Wilson): a reunion with their third-grade classmates to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the day they met. But Joanne felt he was smothering her and left. He is a pediatrician with a golden retriever, like his ex-fiancée. He met a woman named Sue who mistook him for a guy named Dan with whom she was supposed to have a blind date). When Ethan told Sue that he had lied about his identity at Oprah's birthday party (after many people, including Holly Ellenbogen, Perry Pearl, and Kyle Lendo, called him by his real name), she dumped him. He has developed a strong friendship with Kat and they have spent much time together. Ethan was the one who found out about Kat's boyfriend, Benjamin Chow, cheating on her with a girl named Susan, from Benjamin's son Jonah, one of Ethan's patients. By the end of the series, Ethan discovered he has romantic feelings for Kat and the storyline ended with him trying to pursue them.
- Kat Warbler is Lina's cynical fraternal twin sister whose sarcastic tongue hides her kind heart. She is a freelance photographer. She helps Ethan cope after he is dumped; behind her cynicism, she seems attracted to him. The two share a strong friendship. Her birthday is adjacent to Son of Sam's. She dated a world-famous violinist named Benjamin Chow, whom she had stalked for months, until she found that he had another girlfriend named Susan. She broke up with him when she asked him about it. Her storyline ended with her appearing to have a one-night stand with Duncan Carmello after she visits his house looking for her sister Lina, who was at the hospital.
- Lina Warbler, Kat's fraternal twin sister, wears her heart on her sleeve and remains optimistic about love. She received the telephone call about Ethan's party just as she found her boyfriend Adam, in her bed with another woman. At the party she hit it off with Richie, but their budding relationship has encountered significant obstacles, particularly the revelation that Richie is married, although it seems that she has forgiven him. After their first date, Richie accidentally ran over Lina's feet with his car, breaking 52 bones and causing her to wear casts until "The Class Has To Go to a Stupid Museum". She also got lost in a hurricane and was sent flying into a hybrid car holding her umbrella, which she said made her feel like Mary Poppins. Lina, a vegetarian, hosts a dinner party where she serves Moroccan chicken that Richie calls "The Hitler of Chickens". Lina and Richie became informally engaged at the end of the series.
- Duncan Carmello was well-liked boy in school and is now a contractor who still lives with his mother, Tina Carmello. He had a relationship with Nicole Allen in high school but dumped her, a decision he now regrets. In "The Class Has A Snowday", it was revealed that he dumped her because she was "being a bitch" the night of Valentine's Day. After they spent the night of the party together, he got a job renovating her house while trying to win her back. In "The Class Springs A Leak", he had finished the renovations, prompting Nicole to decide whether she wants to stay with Yonk or leave him for Duncan. She chose Duncan, but she second-guessed it when Yonk landed in the hospital. Duncan refused to leave the relationship in limbo; his storyline ended with him appearing to have a one night stand with Kat Warbler.
- Kyle Lendo was a popular boy in school; all the girls were in love with him. He took Holly Ellenbogen to their senior prom, but at the afterparty he was caught in bed with Michael from his Spanish class. He is now a first-grade teacher at Pembridge Academy, an elite private school, and has a live-in boyfriend, Aaron. He goes to the reunion party hoping to make amends. He enjoys watching television, especially when Holly is reporting on the news. He has become good friends with Ethan since the party for Holly's daughter Oprah, where Ethan pretended to be someone named Dan Slutski. He also plays Racquetball with Ethan. He appeared to lose contact with Holly after "The Class Runs into A Convenience Store".
- Richard (a.k.a. Richie) Brittany Velch was a quiet kid and his life has gone downhill since third grade; Ethan's party invitation interrupted nothing less in his life than a suicide attempt. He and Lina hit it off at the party, but accidentally ran over her feet with his car afterwards. At the hospital, an angry Kat told him to stay away and he went back to finish his suicide. He was just swallowing the pills when Kat called to tell him that Lina's first words were a request to see him again. Prior to the reunion, Richie had been a researcher at a pharmaceutical company, but after blowing the whistle on his employer he lost that job and had to take a job trucking toxic waste to a landfill in New Jersey. He later reunited with Duncan Carmello, who was installing wheelchair ramps in Lina's apartment. Duncan invited him to help renovate Nicole and Yonk Allen's house and offered him a permanent position on the completion of that job. Though (unhappily) married when he met Lina, he left his wife, something he'd been trying to work up the courage to do for years. At the series' end he proposed to Lina and she accepted. In High School he worked at the local Radio Shack and had a crush on Melanie Deacon.
- Nicole Allen (formerly Nicole Campbell) is a pretty woman who was popular in high school. She was in love with Duncan, but he dumped her on Valentine's Day. She is now the unfulfilled but loving trophy wife of former pro-football player Yonk Allen. After the party, she spent the night with Duncan but went back to her husband. When Duncan visited her house and pointed out how badly it was built since it was his first job, Nicole got Yonk to agree to hire Duncan to do the renovations. Yonk knew so little about her that he gave her a stripping pole for their anniversary. In "The Class Springs A Leak", Nicole decides to leave Yonk for Duncan, but in the final episode she expresses doubt after Yonk suffers a heart attack. Her final decision is unknown.
- Holly Ellenbogen was Kyle Lendo's prom date, but her heart was broken when he cheated on her with another guy at the afterparty of their senior prom. She is now a successful television news reporter. She is married to Perry Pearl, an interior decorator; they have a daughter, Oprah Pearl. Holly goes to the party to rub her happiness in Kyle's face. Oprah is eventually admitted to Pembridge Academy and enrolled in Kyle's first-grade class. Holly seems oblivious to her husband's embodiment of a flamboyantly gay stereotype, a running joke among the other classmates. She apparently gets this trait from her mother, who is also married to an effeminate man. She has not been seen on the show since "The Class Visits A Bad Neighborhood," where she was also taken out of the opening credits, when Lucy Punch left the show due to creative changes implemented by the executive producers. But Perry makes an appearance hosting dinner with Nicole and Duncan in "The Class Has A Snow Day" and another in "The Class Goes Back to the Hospital", confirming that Holly is okay, despite many fans' beliefs and the cliffhanger from her final appearance in "The Class Visits A Bad Neighborhood" where Fern Velch vows over the phone to "get" her after Richie, at gunpoint, accidentally tells her he is dating Holly, although he's actually dating Lina Warbler.
- Tina Carmello: Duncan's mother. She means well but can sometimes be a bit overbearing. She did show understanding when Nicole came by to be with Duncan and she left them alone. She frequently appears at unexpected times, particularly when she is revealed to be eavesdropping while Duncan is having a telephone conversation, Duncan having been unaware that his mother was also on the line. Apparently, according to Duncan, she steals.
- Yonk Allen: A legendary University of Tennessee and Philadelphia Eagles football player and barbecue grill (of which it turns out one in every fifty blow up) spokesman. Seems to put his personal achievements, including playing in the Super Bowl, getting money for endorsing barbecue grills and having dinner at the White House, ahead of Nicole and be oblivious to her feelings. He is aware of his wife and Duncan's former relationship, and while uncomfortable, uses Duncan to get insights into his wife's psyche. Nicole is his third wife, the name of his first wife is unknown, while his second wife was a woman named Eileen with whom he is still in contact and for whom has previously mistaken Nicole. He has at least two daughters from previous marriages, one who is attractive and one who inherited his build and her mother's personality, she is named Penny Allen. He is also good friends with Jerry Rice. In the end of "The Class Rides a Bull" episode, he has a heart attack when he finishes riding the bull after having lunch with Duncan and Richie, who suggested that they would ride the bull while Nicole was packing her things to move out. He undergoes a quintuple bypass surgery. It is unknown if he is still alive.
- Perry Pearl: Holly's husband, a highly effeminate man. Although Kyle and Aaron find him to be an amusing stereotype of a "gay" personality—he is very excitable, is the family gourmand, regularly instructs his wife on how to dress, and failed to hire puppeteers for his daughter's birthday party so he would have an excuse to put on his own sock-puppet musical review—he is a practising heterosexual. He appears to have a platonic boycrush on Aaron. Perry is an interior decorator, and was hired by Nicole Allen to redecorate her home.
- Palmer Wyland: Ethan's ex-girlfriend. She went to art school with Kat, who strongly dislikes her. Palmer used to have a crush on Kat. She is also a photographer and usually takes pictures of fruit in costumes, which annoys Kat. She is known to be not so smart and her relationship with Ethan is more sexual than serious. They recently broke up.
- Fern Velch: Richie's ex-wife. She works as a cleaning lady in Lina's office. She was his first (and only) girlfriend in college. Richie has recently left her after years of unhappiness, to which she responded with a death threat to Holly Ellenbogen (for whom she thought Richie was leaving her). It was revealed in the episode "The Class Hits It" that Richie had only ever slept with Fern, and she literally booed him during intercourse. She also complained that it was like a damp, old man was dying on her.
- Aaron: Kyle's partner. Holly has difficulty understanding him, supposedly due to his heavy Hispanic accent (though in reality it is not very strong). He is not fond of Holly, but he tolerates her for Kyle's sake. He is a software engineer for an internet security company. Also, sometime after "The Class Hits It" he travels to Chile and returns at the end of "The Class Goes Back to the Hospital".
- Oprah Liza Pearl: Holly and Perry's daughter, whom Perry named after Oprah Winfrey and Liza Minnelli. Her babysitter's name is Samantha. She has a birthday in the episode "The Class Celebrates a Birthday". She attends Pembridge Academy, where her teacher is Kyle Lendo.
- Benjamin Chow: Kat's ex-boyfriend. Is an internationally known English violinist and was once stalked by Kat (he forgave her after he found out). He cheated on his girlfriend Susan with Kat. Benjamin also has a son named Jonah, who is a patient of Ethan's.
- Penny Allen: Yonk's daughter and Nicole's stepdaughter. Her biological mother is Yonk's first wife. She has been described as having Yonk's build and her mother's personality. Yonk nicknames her "Shrek" and Duncan nicknames her "The Creature." She doesn't appreciate waiting for food.
The idea for The Class and the ...teacher came about when show creators David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik were cleaning their basement and they found a box of David Crane's school photographs of him with his third grade class. The pair wondered what the third graders were like now and if they were happy with their lives or not.
Due to the overwhelming reputation of the creators, CBS, Fox, and NBC made bids for a full 13-episode season, the latter network was also reported to have offered a 22 episode commitment, prior to seeing a pilot. Ultimately, CBS won the bidding war with an undisclosed amount.
In December 2005, English actress Lucy Punch was the first lead to be cast for the show.
Next to be cast, in January 2006 were Jason Ritter and Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Ethan Haas and Richie Velch respectively.
In February 2006, Jon Bernthal, Heather Goldenhersh, and Andrea Anders (who, at the time was still part of the cast of Friends spin off Joey, which was on hiatus) were cast as Duncan Carmello, Lina Warbler and Nicole Allen. Legendary sitcom director James Burrows was also announced to be directing the pilot.
Also, during the middle of 2006, it was announced that Julie Halston, Sam Harris, and David Keith had been cast in co-starring roles.
The Class premiered at 8:00 p.m. on September 18, 2006 on CBS, after being picked up by CBS before they had even seen the pilot episode, The Class Reunites, possibly due to the reputation of its creators, one of which created Friends, the other, a producer of Mad About You.
Everybody Loves Raymond showrunner Phil Rosenthal stated that a proposed spin-off of his long-running series (focusing on Brad Garret as Ray's brother) was passed over by CBS so that The Class could make it to series.
As of October 9, 2006, CBS shifted the show to the 8:30 p.m. time slot, because its disappointing ratings were affecting the success of How I Met Your Mother in its second year. The ratings then began to steadily improve, and, on Monday October 23, 2006, CBS ordered six more episodes of The Class, bringing the episode order for the first season to 19. The pickup was conditional on the cost to CBS per episode being reduced compared to the initial episode order – this was the catalyst to Lucy Punch being fired from the show as there wasn't enough money to continue the show with eight main cast members, and also saw the total staff numbers halved.
The Class was the first sitcom to show a live table read session and a live rehearsal. They were shown on Monday January 15, 2007 at 11am PST and Wednesday January 17, 2007 at 1pm PST, respectively. The webcasts were available after the live feed as well.
The Class ended its first season on March 5, 2007.
On May 11, 2007, Zap2It reported that The Class had been cancelled and it was rumored to be replaced by The New Adventures of Old Christine. On May 15, 2007, Variety reported, backing up Zap2It's reports, that The Class would not return for a second season. On May 16, 2007, The Class was officially cancelled at the CBS Upfront presentation, replacing it with The Big Bang Theory. On May 17, 2007, Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Richie Velch) posted a message on his MySpace page relating to the cancellation, as did Sam Harris (Perry Pearl), explaining that the fate of The Class was undecided till the last minute.
Shortly after the cancellation, fans of the show launched a campaign to try to save The Class. The campaign proved to be unsuccessful. The campaign consisted of sending erasers, because of their connection to a school and education, and sending in printed off Moroccan Chicken recipes because of a memorable episode of The Class which saw Lina cooking Moroccan Chicken for Kat, Ethan, Benjamin, Palmer, Richie, Kyle, Duncan, and Nicole.
|No.||Title||Written by||Directed by||Original air date|
|1||"Pilot"||David Crane & Jeffrey Klarik||James Burrows||September 18, 2006|
|Ethan Has Plans a Class Reunion for his third grade class.|
|2||"The Class Visits a Hospital"||David Crane & Jeffrey Klarik||James Burrows||September 25, 2006|
|Ethan and Kat visit Lina in hospital, after she gets run over by Richie.|
|3||"The Class Learns About Hurricanes"||Mike Sikowitz||James Burrows||October 2, 2006|
|Holly reports on the approach of Hurricane Fernanda.|
|4||"The Class Blows the Whistle"||Brian Buckner||James Burrows||October 9, 2006|
|Richie and Lina go on their first date.|
|5||"The Class Gets Frozen Yogurt"||Steven Molaro||James Burrows||October 16, 2006|
|Ethan and Kat sample a lot of frozen yogurt.|
|6||"The Class Goes Trick-or-Treating"||Amanda Lasher||James Burrows||October 23, 2006|
|Holly reports about the Upper Derby Autumn Festival.|
|7||"The Class Goes to a Bar"||Corey Nickerson||James Burrows||November 6, 2006|
|Nicole, Richie and Lina go to see Duncan's band, Carfire, perform at a bar.|
|8||"The Class Celebrates a Birthday"||David Crane & Jeffrey Klarik||James Burrows||November 13, 2006|
|Ethan goes with his girlfriend, and her son, to one of her son's friends birthday parties, only to discover it is Oprah Pearl's party where Ethan meets Oprah's parents Holly and Perry.|
|9||"The Class Gives Thanks"||Jonathan Green & Gabe Miller||James Burrows||November 20, 2006|
|Richie and Lina break up. Meanwhile, everyone else hold their own Thanksgiving festivities.|
|10||"The Class Runs Into a Convenience Store"||David Crane & Jeffrey Klarik||James Burrows||November 27, 2006|
|Richie crashes his car into the local Convenience Store.|
|11||"The Class Celebrates an Anniversary"||Teleplay: Mike Sikowitz
Story: David Crane & Jeffrey Klarik
|James Burrows||December 11, 2006|
|Yonk and Nicole celebrate their one year wedding anniversary and Richie and Lina get back together.|
|12||"The Class Visits a Bad Neighborhood"||Sue Murphy||James Burrows||January 8, 2007|
|Richie, Nicole and Duncan run into Fern with a gun.|
|13||"The Class Hits It"||Doty Abrams||James Burrows||January 15, 2007|
|Richie and Lina spend their first night together.|
|14||"The Class Has to Go to a Stupid Museum"||Teleplay: Jonathan Green & Gabe Miller
Story: Corey Nickerson
|James Burrows||January 22, 2007|
|Ethan and Kyle listen in on a conversation between Kat and Benjamin. Lina gets out of her wheelchair.|
|15||"The Class Eats Moroccan Chicken"||Teleplay: Steven Molaro
Story: David Crane & Jeffrey Klarik
|James Burrows||February 5, 2007|
|Lina and Richie host their first event as a couple were Lina serves some disgusting Moroccan Chicken.|
|16||"The Class Has a Snow Day"||Teleplay: David Crane & Jeffrey Klarik
Story: Mike Sikowitz
|James Burrows||February 12, 2007|
|Everyone gets snowed into each other's houses on St. Valentine's Day.|
|17||"The Class Springs a Leak"||David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik||James Burrows||February 19, 2007|
|Nicole floods her house to try to get Duncan to stay.|
|18||"The Class Rides a Bull"||Teleplay: Mike Sikowitz
Story: David Crane & Jeffrey Klarik
|James Burrows||February 26, 2007|
|Nicole finally decides to leave Yonk for Duncan. While packing her things she gets Duncan and Richie go to an uncomfortable dinner at a steakhouse with Yonk.|
|19||"The Class Goes Back to the Hospital"||David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik||James Burrows||March 5, 2007|
|The Class Go to the Hospital again after Yonk has a heart attack. Series Finale|
American television ratingsEdit
|Episode #||Title||Air date||Rating||Share||18–49||Viewers||Rank|
|1||"The Class Reunites"||September 18, 2006||6.9||11||3.7||10.60||#42|
|2||"The Class Visits a Hospital"||September 25, 2006||5.7||9||2.8||8.51||#48|
|3||"The Class Learns About Hurricanes"||October 2, 2006||5.5||9||2.8||8.00||#55|
|4||"The Class Blows The Whistle"||October 9, 2006||6.5||10||3.7||10.05||#44|
|5||"The Class Gets Frozen Yogurt"||October 16, 2006||5.6||8||3.1||8.70||#51|
|6||"The Class Goes Trick-or-Treating"||October 23, 2006||5.5||8||2.9||8.12||#55|
|7||"The Class Goes To a Bar"||November 6, 2006||4.9||7||2.9||7.70||#58|
|8||"The Class Celebrates a Birthday"||November 13, 2006||5.5||8||3.0||8.52||#51|
|9||"The Class Gives Thanks"||November 20, 2006||5.4||8||2.9||8.32||#50|
|10||"The Class Runs into a Convenience Store"||November 27, 2006||5.5||8||3.1||8.71||#47|
|11||"The Class Celebrates an Anniversary"||December 11, 2006||5.5||8||3.1||8.74|
|12||"The Class Visits a Bad Neighbourhood"||January 8, 2007||5.1||7||2.9||7.76||#53|
|13||"The Class Hits It"||January 15, 2007||4.5||6||2.7||7.07||#52|
|14||"The Class Has To Go To a Stupid Museum"||January 22, 2007||5.7||8||3.2||8.99||#29|
|15||"The Class Eats Moroccan Chicken"||February 5, 2007||6.2||9||3.6||9.72||#40|
|16||"The Class Has a Snow Day"||February 12, 2007||5.9||9||3.3||8.97||#45|
|17||"The Class Springs a Leak"||February 19, 2007||5.5||8||3.3||8.80||#39|
|18||"The Class Rides a Bull"||February 26, 2007||5.7||9||3.5||8.90||#44|
|19||"The Class Goes Back to the Hospital"||March 5, 2007||5.8||9||3.2||8.77||#34|
Key: "Rating" is the estimated percentage of all TVs tuned to the show, "share" is the percentage of all TVs in use that are tuned in. "18–49" is the percentage of all 18- to 49-year olds watching the program. "Viewers" is the estimated number of actual people watching, in millions. "Rank" is the place in which the episode ranked up against all of the shows broadcast during the week that the episode was aired.
Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of The Class on CBS:
Note: Each U.S. network television season starts in late September and ends in late May, or occasionally early June, which coincides with the completion of May sweeps.
|Season||Timeslot (EDT)||Series premiere||Series finale||TV season||Rank||Viewers
|1||Monday 8:00 P.M. (September 18, 2006 – October 2, 2006)
Monday 8:30 P.M.(October 9, 2006 – March 5, 2007)
|September 18, 2006||March 5, 2007||2006–2007||#65||8.4||3.0/8 (#61)|
The Class aired against Prison Break on Fox, Deal or No Deal on NBC, Wife Swap on ABC, and All of Us on The CW. During the first few episodes The Class was up against 7th Heaven and then Everybody Hates Chris. The Class consistently surpassed Wife Swap, All of Us, 7th Heaven, and Everybody Hates Chris in the ratings.
||This article is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. (December 2009)|
|The Philadelphia Inquirer||The best sitcom this year, and one of the best in a lot of years.|
|USA Today||Juggling such a large ensemble won't be easy, and the producers have to guard against crowding too many stories together at the cost of depth and development.... If they can get the balance right, though, Class should be an ideal fit for CBS' successful Monday lineup.|
|Orlando Sentinel||Not since Friends has a comedy been blessed with so many appealing performers matched to sharply drawn characters.|
|The Hollywood Reporter||In addition to some screwball comedy, it also has a lot of heart.|
|Pittsburgh Post-Gazette||Cute but not cloying, funny but not overflowing with gratuitous sex jokes, The Class earns a B+, which easily puts it in contention for valedictorian among fall 2006's freshman comedies.|
|Boston Globe||The Class will never be smart, or clever, or original, but it does have a chance of becoming inoffensive and diverting.|
|Seattle Post-Intelligencer||Hang out for a while... and you may quickly realize why you didn't stay in touch with most of your fellow third-graders. People like these suck the life out of you.|
|Kansas City Star||The punchlines fell flat more often than not.|
|Time||Almost none of [the characters] shows signs of becoming an actual person rather than a high-concept joke.|
|San Francisco Chronicle||The best that The Class can muster is a kind of cookie-cutter familiarity (also known as lameness) that gets prodded by the laugh track to make everyone at home feel like a good time is being had. It's not.|
|Washington Post||The Class has very little. Considerably worse than being classless, however, is being laughless, at least if you happen to be a sitcom, and The Class does, albeit one that's about as rib-tickling as a migraine.|
Unlike the typical TV group of young adult friends, these former classmates don't meet en masse for coffee or book nights. Instead, they have their own stories, some of which intersect. Based on three episodes confidently supplied to reviewers, the writing stays funny, the performances remain superb, and the direction by James Burrows measures up to his famously high standards. In this Class the biggest point deduction is taken for the annoying laughter of the studio audience.— 
The Class won the Favorite New TV Comedy Award at the 33rd People's Choice Awards. It was up against 30 Rock and 'Til Death. 30 Rock and 'Til Death were both renewed for second seasons while The Class was not.
The Class was also nominated by the Art Director's Guild for Excellence in Production Design for a Multi Camera Television Series, this was for the Pilot episode, The Class Reunites. Mad TV won the award.
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- The webcasts were shown at
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While [Lizzy Caplan's] pretty great, the show remains merely somewhere on the edge of goodMissing or empty
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