In the promos, star Tracee Ellis Ross describes "Reed Between the Lines"(10 tonight, BET) as a 'new definition of what it means to be happily married.'
Nah. It's just "The Cosby Show," again; a sitcom about an educated, professional, in-love African-American couple with cute kids. And you know what? I'm OK with that. After all, "The Cosby Show," was groundbreaking and funny.
I wouldn't say "Reed" is quite on that level, even though it also stars Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Theo on "Cosby. " Unlike on "Cosby," the Reed family is blended; the teen twins are hers from a former marriage; the youngest is theirs together. There's none of that 'you're not my father' attitude; in fact, an early scene shows Warner's character, Alex, highly offended when told that he's been described as not one of the twins' father.
Alex's a stay-at-home professor (he teaches online); Carla's a psychologist who shares an office with acupuncturist Gabby (Melissa De Sousa) and a sassy receptionist Ms. Helen (Anna Maria Horsford).
The sassy receptionist is exactly the kind of average sitcom trope that "Cosby" avoided, but thankfully Horsford keeps her attitude within acceptable boundaries.
What makes the show really work is Ross and Warner. They have nice chemistry and they are so very likable. Ross, especially, as she did as 'Joan" in "Girlfriends," knows how to play sincere and sexy and smart, and a little goofy. She's the star here. I hope one day she gets a chance at the kind of big screen parts Julia Roberts made her fame playing. She could handle it.
It's clear "Reed Between the Lines" doesn't have the kind of budget and writing "Cosby" had, not to mention Bill Cosby's guiding vision. But it does have the same heart, the same will, and the same intentions. That makes it worth watching to see how much it can grow.