10 Things You Didn’t Know about Carol’s Second Act

Carol's Second Act

The end of The Big Bang Theory may have left a sizable hole in CBS’s usual fall schedule, but there are some big new shows coming along to fill the vacuum. One of the most anticipated of these is Carol’s Second Act, a sitcom centered on Carol, a recently divorced. middle-aged woman who opens a new chapter in her life as she fulfills her lifetime dream of becoming a doctor. If the premise of the show isn’t enough to get you tuning in, the news that Patricia Heaton (the much-loved star of Everyone Loves Raymond and The Middle) will be starring as Carol just might.

1. Heaton is the big attraction

While some casts have excellent chemistry on screen, it’s often a whole different story when the camera’s stop rolling. For the cast of Carol’s Second Act, however, there’s clearly a lot of love floating around — even if most of it ends up drifting Heaton’s way. During an ET interview between Heaton and the other cast members, the veteran actress asked her co-stars why fans should tune into the show. The answers were unanimous: “Patty, Patty, Patty! You tune in because of Patty,” Ito Aghayere replied, while Ashley Tisdale added. “I mean, it’s so funny. It’s got you in it.”

2. The critics have mixed feelings about the show…

It may be fresh out of the box, but critics haven’t been slow in casting judgment on CBS’s new comedy. So far, the reception has been decidedly mixed. While some critics have gushed about the watchable cast and fun premise, others have complained about its predicable gags and poor writing. Rotten Tomatoes, the arbiter of good taste, gives it a 58% approval rating, and the decidedly lukewarm review of “While Carol’s Second Act earns high marks for bringing Patricia Heaton front and center, awkward plotting and lackluster jokes hold it back from living up to its star’s high standards.”

3. … But they love Heaton

While the general consensus about the show has been mixed, critics have been united in heaping Patricia Heaton’s performances with praise. “It was a pleasure to see Heaton still knows how to nail that comedic timing she perfected in “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “The Middle,” enthused Cortney O’Brien of Townhall, while Verne Gay of Newsday keeps it short and sweet with the comment “Heaton nails this”.

4. It’s from the writers of Trophy Wife

While most of the attention surrounding Carol’s Second Chance has been centered on Heaton’s return to CBS, its writing team also deserve an honorable mention. The sitcom comes from the same pen as the writers of the critically well received but short-lived ABC sitcom Trophy Wife , and this year’s excellent teen comedy Booksmart, Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins. Haskins is no stranger to comedy herself, having written and starred in “Target Women”, a witty segment for Info Mania centered around gender based marketing.

5. It’s not afraid to talk about gender

Germaine Greer’s “Disappearing Woman” might have highlighted society’s depressing tendency to dismiss women as soon as they reach a certain age, but Carol’s Second Act is having none of it. “I am getting tired of being treated like a meddling old lady. I am a meddling old doctor […] And I was good at it because I’m old. You think a woman my age should just disappear into the woods and knit. But I see the world in a different way than when I was 28. […] I know all kinds of stuff that you won’t know for another 20 years. And guess what? My age is what’s going to make me a great doctor,” Carol rants at the end of the opening episode, quickly followed by murmurs of “hear, hear” from every middle-aged woman watching.

6. It’s got overtone of Scrubs

If you watched the pilot episode of Carol’s Second Act with a growing sense of Deja Vu, you’re not alone. The premise of the show bears remarkable similarities to that other great hospital-based comedy, Scrubs. A caustic chief medical surgeon? Check. An ever cheerful new doctor? Check. A gang of eclectic interns getting to grips with a new hospitable (and each other)? Check. Whether or not it’ll have the same staying power as Scrubs (which, lest we forget, lasted all of 10 seasons), only time will tell.

7. It’s one of four new comedies on CBS

Carol’s Second Art is just one four new comedies to pilot on CBS this fall. From the legendary Chuck Lorre we have Bob Hearts Abishola, a romantic tale about a middle aged businessman (Mike & Molly’s Billy Gardell) and his efforts to win the heart of his cardiac nurse (Folake Olowofoyeku). Broke, meanwhile, revolves around the antics of a flamboyantly wealthy trust fund heir forced to reconnect with his siblings after losing his inheritance. Finally, The Unicorn follows a widower’s valiant attempts to move on from the death of his wife with a little help from his friends.

8. It marks Patricia Heaton’s return to CBS

As well as marking her welcome return to multi-camera comedy, Carol’s Second Act also herald’s actress Patricia Heaton’s first appearance on CBS in over 5 years. The star made her name on the network with the much missed Everybody Loves Raymond, before cementing her comedy status with nine seasons of The Middle, which wrapped its ninth and final season last May.

9. It’s got a diverse cast

While the full force of the media glare has been on Heaton’s star turn as Carol, the rest of Carol’s Second Chance’s lineup is just as impressive. The dependably watchable Kyle MacLachlan leads the lineup of costars as Carol’s potential love interest Dr. Frost. Elsewhere we can expect to see Ito Aghayere as Dr. Maya Jacobs, Jean-Luc Bilodeau as Daniel and Sabrina Jalees as Lexie.

10. CBS has high hopes for the show

CBS is clearly investing a lot of their hopes for their fall schedule in the new sitcom. As well as paying enough to the cast to draw the interest of one of comedies biggest stars, it’s also doing its best to ensure the most advantageous start possible by giving it the enviable 9.30 pm Thursday night slot (not to mention a great lead in from the ever-popular Mom).

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