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Thursday, November 13, 2008

“The Bill Engvall Show” Review: A Very Special Christmas

Remember when all the sitcoms would do a very special Christmas episode?

No matter how each show did it, the result was always the same. At least one character would learn the true meaning of Christmas.

Sadly, because of the lack of traditional sitcoms, those days are mostly gone. Thankfully, TBS has decided to revive them with a special holiday episode of “The Bill Engvall Show.”

If you’ve never seen it, Bill Engvall is Bill Pearson, a family counselor with a loving wife, Susan (Nancy Travis), and three children: Lauren (Jennifer Lawrence), Trent (Graham Patrick Martin) and Bryan (Skylar Gisondo). Tim Meadows plays his best friend, Paul.

In this special Christmas episode, it’s the kids who need to learn the true meaning of Christmas as they try and find ways to get out of the family traditions Bill loves so much. But thankfully for them—and Bill—their curmudgeonly neighbor Mr. Faulkner (Brian Doyle-Murray, who you’ll probably recognize from the Christmas classic, “Christmas Vacation”) is there to help out.

Of course, there’s a sappy ending, but isn’t that what Christmas is really about?

The Christmas episode is followed by another episode of “Engvall” entitled “Honey Do.”

And the title refers to exactly what you think it does—the list wives make for their husbands of things they need done around the house. Only in this case, it’s Sarah who decides to tackle the “Honey Do” list herself, making Bill feel like less of a man. Also in this episode, the kids fight over a giant jar of change.

Although Engvall is best known for being a part of the “Blue Collar Comedy” foursome, he is quite good as a sitcom dad. Nancy Travis is perfectly cast as his wife and Tim Meadows has finally found a good TV role. But the real star here is Martin, whose Trent gets most of the laughs—especially in the second episode. I know the airheaded teenage boy has been done a lot, but it’s still pretty funny when done right…

If you’re looking for a good family sitcom in a world where they mostly no longer exist, then “The Bill Engvall Show,” which was recently renewed for a third season, is your salvation…

The special presentation of “The Bill Engvall Show” airs Saturday, November 15th at 8 p.m., following the classic, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” at 7:30 p.m…

Photo Credit: Gavin Bond/TBS