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February 1, 2006

SF Chron: you should be watching Campus Ladies!

by Tim Goodman

The dark secret of television criticism is that one person can't watch everything. Not even with three TiVo machines working frantically through the night. So as Bill Buckner can tell you, sometimes one gets through.

Or three or five.

It's inevitable, really. Good shows get ignored. Intensely weird series that oh-lord-you've-gotta-see pass right on by through the TiVo net, into the office out-basket, disappearing into the ether -- at least until they come back for a second season and we wise up.

So here then are a smattering of series that, for one reason or another, never got reviewed but deserve your attention. They are the Lost Gems. And this is a rewind.


"Campus Ladies," 10 p.m. Sundays (and various other times), Oxygen.

Every network would wish for a series like this, a ridiculously funny send-up revolving around Joan (Carrie Aizley) and Barri (Christen Sussin) two 40-year-old housewives (one divorced, the other a widow) who decide to head back to college for the good times they never found the first time around.

Less quirkily dark than "Strangers With Candy" but able to mine better situations, "Campus Ladies" allows Joan and Barri to cluelessly but sweetly dive into all kinds of college-level mischief and trouble. The aging freshmen stick out socially and academically, so embarrassments are not just limited to the classroom or the dorm.

In one sublimely great episode, the duo try to figure out if they are lesbians, going from doubtful to fully into it and eventually to the sad realization that they're not. Aizley and Sussin are veterans of the Groundlings and can play improv for wonderful comedic gain, which keeps the episodes lively. The characters are aided immensely by a talented ensemble cast and some celebrity cameos (Fred Willard, Maya Rudolph, Paul "Pee-Wee Herman" Reubens, etc.). The series is executive produced by Cheryl Hines of "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

"Campus Ladies" will be in reruns through February, then return to original episodes in March.

Read the archives:
My advice for current and aspiring actors (Feb '11)
So long, Amiricans! (Jan '10)
Vancouver! (Nov '09)
Politically Act-ive (Jan '08)
Welcome to the Desert (Jun '07)
In Flux (May '07)
"Which Groundlings show(s) should I see?" (Feb '07)
BackStage Article (Nov '06)
just for the heck of it, Luke Chueh (Mar '06)
Season 2 to come (Feb '06)
Seriously? (Feb '06)
SF Chron: you should be watching Campus Ladies! (Feb '06)
CL news: Giant bra is strapped for a home (Jan '06)
NY Times calls Campus Ladies Hilarious (Jan '06)
LA Times calls CL original and infectious (Jan '06)
Cheryl Hines TV Guide interview (Jan '06)
Hollywood Reporter loves Campus Ladies (Jan '06)
NY Times Business article on Campus Ladies (Jan '06)
OK, it's setting in (Dec '05)
Best... Problem... Ever! (Nov '05)
Gilmo my god! (May '05)
Kicking Aspen (Feb '05)
Goodbye WWRY (Jan '05)
Republicans -- the ultimate in Domestic Abuse (Nov '04)
Special K (Nov '04)
We Will, We Will, ROCK! (Sep '04)
We Will Preview You (Aug '04)
We Will Rehearse You (Jul '04)
Room Raiders / Summertime (Jun '04)
‘We Will Rock You’ Casting (May '04)
Nevermind Nirvana (Mar '04)
The Untitled Onion Movie (Jan '04)
Year in Review (Dec '03)
Second Bombay Dreams callback (Oct '03)
Bombay Dreams callback (Oct '03)
You're Not My Type (Sep '03)
More Making an Ass of Myself (Jul '03)
Shedding (Jun '03)
The Luckiest Man on Earth (May '03)
Snoopy the Intern (Apr '03)
In Pursuit of a Pilot (Mar '03)
The Real Amir (Feb '03)
Legally Blonde 2 (Jan '03)
Osama Yo Mama (Dec '02)
US Army Shoot (Oct '02)
Pimpin' the Studio Lots (Sep '02)
Gambling (Aug '02)

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