During my latest trip to Los Angles I was given the opportunity to attend a live tapping of the new Reba McEntire sitcom ‘Malibu Country.’ I have been watching since it premiered on ABC this season and I am already a huge fan. Just like her previous sitcom ‘Reba’ is about family and she shares the screen with some very talented, very funny actors. Lily Tomlin is perfect as Reba’s mother, Sara Rue is just as charming and hysterical as ever, and Jai Rodriguez is the sassy spice in any scene he is in.
One of my favorite things about a show like this is that all of the actors, no matter how big their star is, not only share the laughs but revel in delight when one of their cast members gets the audience going. During the taping I especially noticed this in Reba, Lily, Sarah and Jai. I have always loved finding out that cast members of my favorite shows actually get along in real life because it’s kind of what you expect. From our viewpoint, it looks like they are having so much fun that you want it to be true.
The show centers around Reba’s character, Reba MacKenzie, who finds out her country music star husband has been cheating on her and decides to leave him to try to reignite her own singing career. She leaves Nashville for Malibu with her two children (played by Justin Prentice and Juliette Angelo) and her mother (Tomlin). Upon their arrival, they encounter their rich and slightly out of touch neighbor, Kim (Rue), who finds the family charming and makes it her mission to help them settle in to Malibu. Reba is determined to get back into the studio but that means getting the attention of a record executive, which is where we meet Geoffrey (the executive’s assistant played by Rodriguez).
As I said earlier, the chemistry between the cast is just superb, which was very evident on the evening of the taping. When you are in the audience, you get to see the interactions in between scenes as well as the looks on the actors faces when they aren’t in a scene or out of camera shot. Each actor shows so much respect and pride for the other actors, there are words of encouragement exchanged, and lots of smiling. I was so impressed by the professionalism of every cast member from the most experienced to the younger ones. In one particular scene, Lily Tomlin (Lillie Mae) grabs Justin Prentice (Cash) and pulls him by his backpack towards her. You could tell that somehow they bumped heads but neither lost a beat. They ran their lines, got the laughs, and moved on. Of course, the scene had to be re-shot (probably because of the noise from their heads clunking together).
There was also a scene where Juliette Angelo (June) had to imitate Jai Rodriguez’s character, which she did like a pro (which is hard to do since Jai gives Geoffrey just the right amount of wit, sarcasm, and coolness while still keeping the character a bit nerdy and insecure). June totally nailed it both times she had to run the scene and Reba’s follow up line is, “That’s a good Geoffrey” which I imagine was congratulations from both the character of Reba as well as the actress.
I do hope you all tune in on Friday nights (ABC 8:30 EST, right after Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing) for Malibu Country, I am sure you will smile, laugh, and enjoy these characters as much as I do. I look forward to seeing how the show develops, where they will take the characters, and of course to experiencing some more of Reba’s singing. Make sure you follow the actors and the show on Twitter as well as LIKE the show on Facebook for updates, info, and lots of other cool stuff.
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