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The Ellen Show offers moments of pleasure, notably when [Cloris] Leachman flutters around her house in a manner to thrill fans of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
[Ellen] DeGeneres' off-handed sunniness can't save a disappointingly bland show.
Where's [Ellen] DeGeneres' trademark sly, slow humor? In this show, it's fast asleep or completely missing.
As this Ellen, Ms. DeGeneres offers a glib, ingratiating act that quickly becomes cloying.
[Ellen] DeGeneres gets to expand on her own self-depreciating humor, perfecting the awkward moment for the most laughs and utilizing smart writing with visual gags.
The notion of someone escaping the high-stakes urban world for the low-profile small-town life is hardly new to television... at least "The Ellen Show" breathes new life into it and shows us why the myth remains so alluring.
[Cloris] Leachman's a great comedic foil for the star, whose perky sense of irony is appealing as ever. Alas, the material is sitcom trite.
Fans of [Ellen] DeGeneres' bemused-observer comedy style will probably stay around, but it's nothing we haven't seen before.
From Cloris Leachman, of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, to Jim Gaffigan and Martin Mull, this is a cast that understands the rhythms of traditional sitcom humor and knows how to pace its performances accordingly.
There are a few laughs in the surprisingly pleasant premiere. But only a few. There are fewer still in the second episode.
The pilot has a connected-by-dots quality, with everything falling into place. What it doesn't have is many laughs. But with [Ellen] DeGeneres and [Carol] Liefer and this cast involved, maybe things will improve down the road.
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