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It is always a little weird when a Hollywood heavy hitter heads for TV land. When I first heard of Ms. Goldberg's new show, I had visions of the star-driven shows that came before her -- The Geena Davis Show, Encore staring Nathan Lane -- and was both hesitant and curious to watch.

After two episodes (Squid made me watch two to make sure of my feelings on the show) I can offer this bit of reviewer-speak: The show is a pleasing romp. It is not a horrible attempt to restart a career, but is not the next big show either. It does its sitcom job of providing a few good laughs.

The show centers on Mavis Rae (Goldberg), an ex-singer with a loud mouth who runs a hotel. Even though the hotel seems to have a bar, full kitchen and several rooms, it seems to be low on staff.

One of the only staff members you see is Nasim (Omid Djalili), the Iranian handyman. Nasim was an "engineer" in his country. With the current situations in Iraq and the Middle East, weapons of mass destruction jokes are abounding.

The cast is rounded out by Mavis' brother Courtney (Wren T. Brown), an uptight corporate conservative with cornball ways, and Courtney's "culturally confused" girlfriend Rita (Elizabeth Regen). Courtney has spent most of his life trying to fit in a predominantly white corporate world where Rita is mostly concerned about "hangin' with her crew."

With such big characters, the humor occasionally hits you in the head. Rita tries desperately to bond with Mavis. Nasim tries to hide his missile-building background. There a times when it is a little too "Gee, isn't it fun exploring stereotypes."

The funnies are not all over the top thought. Some of the things the characters go through are things that the viewers will be able to relate to. A recent episode has Whoopi waiting for eight hours in a hospital waiting room trying to con her way to the front of the line.

Some of the commentary that comes out of the show is very up-to-the-minute. The show is full of jokes on current events, the Bush administration, etc., that may not make this show timeless, but adds a bit of an edge.

The early ratings for this new show are very strong. I believe this show has a fighting chance in the tidal wave that is the new Fall Season. Expect it to last for a few seasons and have some fun along the way. I don't anticipate, however, a funny clip episode five years down the road celebrating some milestone episode.

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