Empty10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23
In this show-within-a-show comedy, creator Adam Paul plays frustrated actor Tony King, co-host of a cable celebrity residential makeover show. For Tony, a casting director's nightmare and a klutz around tools, the show is a day job, something to do until his acting career kicks in.
"Hollywood Residential" is as much about home improvement as "30 Rock" is about late-night sketch comedy. In both, the emphasis is on the main characters and their endless predicaments and inevitable frustrations. "Hollywood Residential" cast members -- including Lindsey Stoddart, who plays curvaceous co-host Lila Mann, and David Ramsey, who is producer Don Merritt -- are improv veterans. During production, tightly scripted takes are followed by ad libs. The final cut mixes both, smartly blurring the two styles.
Celebs who get home makeovers (Paula Abdul, Tom Arnold, John Cho, Carmen Electra, Chris Kattan, Beverly D'Angelo, Jamie Kennedy and exec producer Cheryl Hines) play self-deprecating versions of themselves. Some of the comedy is heavy-handed and obvious, but the parodies of Hollywood hypocrisy and Paul's work as a guy whose dreams far surpass his talent make this show worth checking out.
Putting the show after "Head Case," which enters its second season Wednesday, will help Starz make a name for itself in the realm of original programming.