One of my favorite comedies of 2017 was Trial & Error, so I’m hoping the show’s sophomore season can maintain the hilarity with consistency and cleverness. Judging by the two-hour season premiere, we’re off to a promising start.
The biggest change to the show’s DNA in season two is John Lithgow’s departure (his story arc came to an end last year), and the introduction of the ever-delightful Kristin Chenoweth. A wonderfully charismatic actress, Chenoweth is front and center this year as accused murderess Lavinia Peck-Foster, and she’s an absolute ball. It took me around ten minutes to warm up to her in the role, but I was completely won over by her special brand of comedy. I love that Lavinia is so prominent and beloved in East Peck, because that ensures the entire town is invested in her trial to hilarious effect. The show definitely feels like its expanding its world this season, and that can only be a good sign!
One Kooky Cast
Although there are some new additions to the cast (newcomer Amanda Payton as podcast host Nina certainly has potential), I’m pleased to report that our epic cast is still as terrific as ever. Of course Nicholas D’Agosto and Jayma Mays are top-notch as the romantic tension between Josh and Carol continues to evolve in creative ways (particularly with the latter’s shocking pregnancy), but the show’s supporting cast is just as memorable. Whether it’s Sherri Shepherd’s Anne revealing yet another round of insane disorders she suffers from, or Steven Boyer’s lovable idiocy as Dwayne Reed, there’s not a weak link in the bunch. These people feel like genuine friends you want to be spending time with, and that makes for a really comforting vibe (amidst all the murders).
Bits & Bail
– The first time Anne displayed her extreme jump disorder, I cringed and found it a bit much. But by the second time, I was totally on board. Her spontaneous combustion however is probably my favorite disorder yet!
– Larry has published an “If I did it” book a la OJ Simpson, and it’s as funny as it sounds.
– Lavinia keeps referring to Josh as “lawyer” – it’s a very endearing touch.
– The Reed/feces running gag was a good one, but my favorite joke of this premiere was certainly the flag guy preceding “lady drivers” – it’s so darn bonkers that it works.
– The East Peck Lady Laws of 1952 also state that women can’t judge other women, which explains why Judge Horsedich is gone. I miss her but Judge Kamiltow’s unintelligible voice (at least to Josh) is genius.
– The one unfunny bit in the whole premiere: the “pecker” shtick that dragged on for far too long.
– Lavinia bringing her bail down to 10 dollars and having Kamiltow pay it for her was just masterful.
– Baby board! Baby board! Baby board!
– Dwayne has Edgar’s watch and wallet! No surprise there. So who do you think killed Lavinia’s husband? Any theories?
– So many amazing visual gags: Josh wearing the robe, the documentary referring to Carol as “pregnant woman” on-screen, the Legal Segals sketch on Carol’s notepad, Anne on the cover of the newspaper with “no chance of winning”, and of course the courtroom donated by Lavinia.
– The way Dwayne pronounces July…. no comment..
– Lavinia is a serious hoot: buying everybody scarves (which we later see everybody wearing), posing for pictures with the jury, and telling everybody to rise (judge included).
– How devious is Carol using her pregnancy in court? I definitely think Josh is the father.
– The gag with everybody leaving court because they are connected to Lavinia in some way was just perfect.
– I bet Kristen Chenoweth loved getting the opportunity to sing on the show (considering her theatre experience). I can’t imagine what a strain on her voice it was to film this sequence so many times.
– Jessie Ray’s clock skills are truly special.
– The cliffhanger with Lavinia shoplifting isn’t the most effective of bombshell endings. I kind of wanted a bigger twist to be honest.
Digs & Depositions
Josh: Forgive me if I’m a little cocky.
Carol: What about your little cocky?
Carol: (to Josh) I’ll tell you what, if she comes out whining, we’ll know she’s yours.
Lavinia: I know this has been a very difficult time for all of us, but I believe in the trial system, and this court will remain unfair and biased. Oops! Fair and biased. Oops! Fair and unbiased.
Anne: If he was killed at 8:15, that means the murderer was at the party.
Dwayne: Everyone in this town is a suspect!
Anne: Except for Josh. He wasn’t invited.
Josh: Okay, I’m sure I was invited. She probably just had my old address.
Anne: She sent my invite to the office.
Dwayne: Mine too. My brother-cousin got a plus-one. He brought his chinchilla.
Dwayne: (to Lavinia) Could you show us where you murdered him?
Dwayne: Sorry. Where you drown-ded him?
Lavinia: Lawyer, what do you know about loss?
Josh: (in the pool) Well, I forgot to take my phone out of my pocket, so…
Anne: Dwayne, honey, I’m going to talk to you the way I talk to my daughter.
You get your black ass up, it’s time to go home!
Lavinia: This water and several rejuvenations have given me the body of a debutante. I’ve had more lasers pointed at my privates than James Bond.
Dwayne: They discovered they were Reeds by their lack of dental records.
Lavinia: I have to give everyone a take-home. I’m not on trial for murdering etiquette.
Josh: Your Honor, the people are clearly trying to use their pregnancy to manipulate the court!
Carol: Oh, I think the baby’s moving a lot because it can sense evil.
Anne: I will play Lavinia, and the suitcase will play itself.
Dwayne: We were gonna use a dummy, but in order to be more accurate, I’ll be the dummy.
Packed with cleverness and endearing characters, Trial & Error‘s season two premiere is a certified winner.