The New Adventures of Old Christine: Revisited

Written by Tracy

Last week was the premiere of Veep‘s third season starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus. There’s a lot of great reviews of the upcoming third season. We know her talents from Seinfeld and Veep, but an underrated classic that Julia starred in and is getting cult status is The New Adventures of Old Christine.

Old Christine was about Christine Campbell life and neuroses as a single and divorced mother. Why the show is called Old Christine is because his ex-husband, Richard Campbell’s (Clark Gregg from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) new girlfriend is also name Christine. Although Christine is neurotic and independent, she has a tight inner circle with his brother, Matthew (Hamish Linklater of The Crazy Ones) and best friend, Barb (Wanda Sykes).

The show’s cache in the beginning was Julia Louis-Dreyfus realistic portrayal of a divorce mother dealing with her kid; her own business; the awkward inner circle, which includes her ex-husband; getting involve with her son’s school and the rest of the parents, and her dating life. While the show did revolve around Old Christine, it was slowly becoming an ensemble each episode with the main characters getting equal opportunities to shine.

It was interesting that when the show begin, ratings were very good and Julia-Louis-Dreyfus broke the “Seinfeld Curse.” However, each season, the show’s ratings decline, but you can say it wasn’t their fault.

There’s two reasons why Old Christine was not a hit. The first was CBS moved around the show a lot of. Old Christine‘s biggest audience was when they were following Two and a Half Men (when they were the #1 comedy). When, they were moved after the second season, CBS wanted to maximize the show’s exposure, but failed.

The second reason was the writers’ strike in 2007 that altered most of the shows and force CBS to pick up ten, instead of thirteen, episodes of Old Christine and thus the divide between network and show began. Although Old Christine was winning in some demos, it was not a bonafide hit. In May 2010, CBS cancelled Old Christine and did not reach network syndication.

As of now, Old Christine was picked up by Lifetime and Nickelodeon (specifically, NickMom, which is on Nick Jr. on evenings (there’s a quiz later)) and has develop a cult following. The main reason is Julia-Louis Dreyfus rise from supporting player to the Queen of Comedy at age 53. Another reason is how great the supporting cast was, from Hamish, Clark, Wanda, even the two elitist moms. The only weak spot from Old Christine was New Christine. She seemed that she really didn’t want any part of that circle. Finally, the show is a throwback sitcom where telling jokes and situations were real and funny. Although it had a studio audience, you felt it was authentic and genuine because the cast made it real.

People will remember Julia for Seinfeld and Veep and she still be known as one the great comedic actresses of our time, but Old Christine was the bridge for Julia (and others) from great to greatest.

 

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