This is not an endorsement. The pilot still had a lot of issues--Rebel Wilson without an accent being problem numero uno, because it just weirded me out on all levels--but it wasn't nearly as dreadful as the preview made me anticipate.
Things they did right:
1)Rebel's love interest, the adorable British guy. Not just because he deadpanned the line "He showed me in the bathroom" with haunted eyes. His interaction with Rebel addressed a pet peeve I usually have with unlikely-romance-duo scenarios. Usually, the girl is shy, a spaz, or other kinds of awkward/visually iffy, and the guy is a dreamboat that never speaks to her directly, so when her unrequited crush somehow comes to fruition, it's impossible to imagine how the two of them could ever manage a full first date. Instead, in this situation Rebel and bumbling adorable Britishness are friends. They goof off in meetings together, they get a kick out of the same jokes--they obviously have a real life connection, and it's mostly Rebel's insecurities that are blinding her to the fact that he is obviously open to more happening between them. Bravo, you gave me a mostly believable scenario.
2) The nemesis. Good work, showrunners, I already hate Kendall with the steady, driving heat of a transatlantic steamboat. She's the worst, anyone who ever felt victimized by a girl in adolescence is going to be totally on board with loathing her. Her actions are over the top and not truly believable, but luckily hatred usually doesn't really care about pesky logic. She must be destroyed.
3) Nerd drunk dialing. Calling your grandma to complain about the five dollar gift card for Christmas? Hilarious.
Things they did wrong:
1) This is mostly a pet peeve--but any scene at a karaoke or piano bar in any movie or TV show never shows how awkward it is to be standing up there for long instrumental breaks, or three minutes into a great six minute song when you realize you need to do a minute and a half of dramatic "oohs," or just repeat the chorus more times than your audience wants to hear. I may have had a bad experience with Joan Jett's "I Love Rock n' Roll." But the people have the right to know! The media is going to lead you all to make bad karaoke decisions!
2) The Spanx. The initial conversation with the Spanx? Hilarious, and for a girl who has had her own battle with too many bulging curves, double hilarious/too-close-to-home. The extended physical comedy scene? Too much, stopped being funny. I mention it just because my chief worry for this show is that that kind of judgment call is going to frequently go the wrong way.
3) The friends. Mostly Lauren Ash's character. Remember the part Dana Goodman played in house Bunny, the tomboy with zero ability to read social cues? That seems to be where they're leading Lauren Ash, and I can't say I'm a fan of the approach. That type of character tends to bring the awkward without the payoff of laughs.
So, we'll wait and see. I love Rebel Wilson enough to want good things, but not enough to cloud my judgment of hack television.