Reba Returns to TV in "Malibu Country"

Shannan Singletary ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff

Reba McEntire and Sara Rue star in ABC’s new sitcom “Malibu Country.” Photo Credit: ABC/KAREN NEAL
Reba McEntire is back on the small screen in ABC’s new sitcom Malibu Country. McEntire stars as Reba Gallagher, a former country music singer who had previously put aside her career for her husband, but is now hoping to restart it after moving her family to Malibu.
Malibu Country, in many respects, is strikingly similar to McEntire’s previous WB sitcom, Reba. Much like Reba, Malibu Country begins with the reveal that McEntire’s TV husband has been cheating on her. However, unlike in Reba where McEntire’s character stays fairly amiable with her ex-husband, living only a block away, in Malibu Country her character packs her bags and leaves town with her mother, Lillie Mae (Lily Tomlin), and her two kids, Cash (Justin Prentice) and June (Juliette Angelo).
Not only are there plot similarities between Reba and Malibu Country, but the shows have a very similar feel to them. Both shows are filled with cheesy (some would say outdated) jokes and stereotypical family drama. The sets also have the same warm, country feel to them, despite the fact that the shows are set in the very different towns of Houston and Malibu.
Being a big fan of Reba McEntire and growing up watching her previous series, I did not really mind the similarities between the two shows. I actually felt that it gave the show the nice comfy feeling of familiarity. Sure, the show felt a little outdated, but it still had me laughing.
However, there were a few problems I had with Malibu Country. One of my main problems revolved around the character of Cash. I found Cash to be entirely too stereotypical of a “country boy” and way too over-acted. When the family first arrives in Malibu, Cash is excited because he thinks he is going to have tons of California girls interested in him, only to be disappointed when he learns that he’s not as attractive in Malibu as he is in Nashville.  To go along with his total focus on girls, Cash is portrayed as being quite unintelligent. To bump up the stereotype even further, Justin Prentice’s accent sounds entirely too fake and overdone. The entire character was incredibly too one-dimensional, something I can only hope will get better in future episodes.
Even though I personally enjoyed the show, if future episodes do not make some adjustments I do not see the show being on air for very long. If you’re a fan of Reba (both the person and the show) or you just enjoy old-fashioned style sitcoms, you should definitely check out Malibu Country, but if not, I would suggest you avoid it.

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