TV Review: NBC’s ‘One Big Happy’

NBC’s One Big Happy —which stars Elisha Cuthbert as Lizzy, a young woman who becomes impregnated by her best friend (played by Nick Zano)— premieres March 17 at 9:30 p.m. ET. The comedy is executive produced by Liz Feldman, Jeff Kleeman and Ellen DeGeneres. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

“To be fair, Lucille Ball reincarnated would have had trouble doing much with the material Cuthbert has been given. Even if she could get you past the show's single-minded focus — every line seems to revolve around Liz being gay, pregnant, or both — she'd still be stuck with such jokes as "I should have known I was gay when I named my cat Ellen." And that's one of the better ones.”
—Robert Bianco, USA Today (opens in new tab)

“Yet One Big Happy’s biggest problem is that it’s a premise sitcom with one premise too many.”
—Erik Adams, A.V. Club

“Produced by Ellen DeGeneres, the series advances the story in semi-serialized fashion, but is pitched so broadly that its politics take a back seat to pratfalls and rim shots. The Voice is helpful in introducing comedies, but this still feels like one big waste of time.”
—Brian Lowry, Variety

“It would be easier to dismiss One Big Happy if the performers didn’t have such an easy rapport. Cuthbert, Zano and Brook all play off of each other expertly; sometimes good comic timing is all you need to sell even the most garden-variety material.”
—Keith Uhlich, The Hollywood Reporter

“It’s no longer unusual to find nontraditional families on television and for people in those families to be having babies. Apparently the makers of One Big Happy, an intelligence-insulting sitcom that begins Tuesday night on NBC, haven’t noticed, because every minute of their show screams: “Hey! We’ve got a pregnant lesbian! Bet you’ve never seen that before!”
—Neil Genzlinger, New York Times

“Even while embracing the unconventional, its eye is trained too cautiously on the TV past, where dinosaurs like Three's Company once roamed.”
—Verne Gay, Newsday