TV spotlight

'How to Live' with a terrible new show

David Wiegand / San Francisco Chronicle /

“How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)” 9:31 p.m. Wednesday, ABC

You may be able to live with your parents for the rest of your life, but can you live for a full half hour with ABC’s dreadful new sitcom “How To Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)?” Betcha can’t.

The series is created by Claudia Lonow and stars Sarah Chalke as Polly, who leaves her screw-up of a husband, Julian (Jon Dore), and moves back in with her wacky mom Elaine (Elizabeth Perkins) and step-dad, Max (Brad Garrett).

Polly gets a job running a juice bar in a grocery store, tries to go on a date, but worries the whole time that her young daughter Natalie (Rachel Eggleston) will be exposed to her babysitting parents’ overwritten eccentricities.

ABC does this bit acceptably with “Reba,” and Lily Tomlin makes a better wacky mom than Elizabeth Perkins because the scripts are passable. Even TVLand did it better with the now-canceled turkey, “Retired at 35.” Perkins’ considerable skills are so wasted here, it’s criminal. Chalke has been fine in several shows, but there has always been a sense that her potential wasn’t fully realized. In “How to Live,” it’s fully obliterated.

As Joan Rivers might say, “The last time I saw anything this dull and humorless was at the Coolidge inaugural.”

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