In what’s shaping up to be a big week for Nebraska on primetime television, ABC has dropped the trailer and set the premiere date for “Bless This Mess,” a new single-camera comedy set in Nebraska.
The show (premiering April 16) stars Dax Shepard and Lake Bell as a New York City couple who move to rural Nebraska after his great-aunt dies and leaves them an old farmhouse. Shepard and Bell see it as way to live “a simpler life.” But, as the show’s tagline goes: “Living the simple life is a work in progress.”
“I’m goin’ farming in Nebraska!” Shepard shouts as they’re leaving New York.
But it turns out the farmhouse needs a little work, and Bell and Shepard aren’t especially well-suited to country life. She’s terrified of cows, for instance.
For those worrying that the show will portray Nebraskans as a bunch of hicks, well, there might be some of that. But most of the humor appears to come from the ineptitude of the city slickers and their failed efforts to fix their rickety house. The whole thing is very “Green Acres” with a side of “The Money Pit.”
Pam Grier and Ed Begley Jr. play the locals, clearly amused by the New York couple’s efforts to live the Good Life.
The trailer gets in a shot of a “NEBRASKA … the good life” sign as well as a few cornfields and even Shepard wearing a Huskers hat as he attempts to fix a hole in his roof.
(There’s a little Nebraska B-roll footage in the trailer, but the pilot was filmed in Santa Clarita, California. That’s a green-screen background we’ll be seeing. Though isn’t it kind of cool that Nebraska of all places is being green-screened into a primetime TV show?)
The series was co-created by Bell and Elizabeth Meriwether (who also created “New Girl”). Both have a great track record creatively. There’s reason to be optimistic that this very Nebraska show might actually be pretty good.
On the Television Critics Association press tour, Shepard jokedthat they set “Bless This Mess” in Nebraska because the state’s tourism board gave them enough money to pay for the whole first season.
When someone pointed out that Nebraska’s new catchphrase is “It’s Not For Everyone,” Meriwether said she had “dibs on that for the show.”
Living the simple life is a work in progress. #BlessThisMess premieres April 16 on @ABCNetwork. @lakebell @daxshepard @edbegleyjr @PamGrier @JT_Neal_IV @lennonparham @DavidKoechner pic.twitter.com/qHTucwZfhF
— Bless This Mess (@BlessThisMessTV) February 5, 2019