Melissa & Joey – Episode 1-8 Review

Dancing with the Stars’ Mark Ballas steps in to help Mel out with a charity ballroom dancing event in this week’s episode Dancing with the Stars of Toledo. Unfortunately, good story writing and comedy seems to take a backseat so the episode can serve as a vehicle for Ballas’ guest appearance. And of course as a remind of Melissa Joan Hart’s participation in the hit reality dance show.

Continuing frm last week, Mel is still trying to improve her public image, so Stephanie suggests the charity event Dancing with the Stars of Toledo. While Mel’s more enthusiastic about a pancake breakfast, her niece persuades her to compete so Mel can win money for the inner city at-risk teens Lennox tutors. Joe, who took dance lessons for his wedding, offers to be Mel’s tango partner. But when the two have creative differences, Stephanie gets Mark Ballas, who happens to be in town, to be Mel’s partner. Joe is hurt, but takes the high road and doesn’t say anything. However, Mel has to apologize for her refusal to listen to him after she’s injured during a photo shoot. Nice guy Joe agrees, then he and Ballas take to the dance floor for their well-received tang. Later, as Mel nurses an injured knee, she and Joe find out that the “at-risk teens” Lennox has been tutoring are actually attactive teenage boys.

Besides the pilot, I think this is my least favorite episode so far. The story is weak, not very interesting, and doesn’t seem to fill up the whole episode, probably because there really is no subplot with the kids other than a few mentions of Lennox’s tutoring. And the episode isn’t funny – to me, most of Mel’s jokes come off as childish, even verging on outright rude. For me, it was a chore to rewatch the episode so I could take notes for the review.

And since I’m not a big Dancing with the Stars fan, I really don’t care one bit that Mark Ballas is the big guest star. As Ballas isn’t much of an actor, I also don’t care for the one scene where he has to play himself. Heck, I’m more excited that Finola Hughes plays the charity event’s announcer. Of course, I only recognize her as Patty Halliwell from Charmed, but according to her IMDB.com profile, she was also a General Hospital regular two years ago.

I’m also a little worried by Mel’s dream sequence, and the dance practice itself, where it’s hinted that she might start falling for Joe. While the two have decent chemistry as boss/manny, I just can’t see them as a romantic couple yet. Hopefully nothing serious happens until Mel is a little nicer to Joe. Yes, arguing is supposed to be the makings of a perfect TV couple. I’m not sure why, but to me it just doesn’t feel like their relationship would be right until they’ve gotten used to each other.

Unfortunately, for me this episode is a bust. Here’s hoping that next week’s episode Seoul Man will be better.

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