‘This is Us’ Chrissy Metz Stars in Upcoming Faith-Based Film

Miracles still happen. That is the message of the faith-based film, Breakthrough starring This is Us’ Chrissy Metz. Based on Joyce Smith’s book, The Impossible: The Miraculous Story of a Mother's Faith and Her Child's Resurrection, Breakthrough tells the true story of an event that happened just four years ago.

Metz plays Smith whose 14-year-old son falls through the ice of a Missouri lake. He was trapped under water for 15 minutes and even after he was rescued, he had no pulse for 43 minutes. All seemed lost and Smith was told to come in and say her goodbyes to her son as there was no hope for the boy. But Smith refused to give up and continued to pray for her son’s complete recovery, even in the face of every case history and scientific prediction. Not only did her son come back to life, but he is alive today telling his story.

Directed by Roxann Dawson and produced by DeVon Franklin (Miracles from Heaven), Breakthrough also stars Josh Lucas, Topher Grace, Mike Colter…

'Kevin Can Wait' Should Have Waited a Little Longer

Review of "Kevin Can Wait"
Kevin James and Erinn Hayes in Kevin Can Wait. (CBS)
The great thing about Kevin James is that he’s such a likeable guy. The problem with Kevin James is that he always plays the same likeable guy in every movie or TV show that he’s in. So much so that CBS’s whole promotion for his new series, Kevin Can Wait, featured the actor's new character (Kevin) talking to his old one (Doug) from his former CBS hit, The King of Queens. I don’t know if telling your audience that you’ll be getting more of the same is the best marketing tool.

The King of Queens lasted nine years because of his sparring partners Leah Remini and Jerry Stiller. Erinn Hayes, who plays Kevin’s wife Donna, couldn’t more different from Carrie, which isn’t a bad thing. Instead, she is cheery, which gives the two a different type of banter that is less snarky and show's the difference in their relationship. That is probably the best thing that can be said about James’s new show.

The premise of Kevin Can Wait, is that Kevin has just retired from being a police officer and has big plans but realizes that just because he retires, life still goes on. Kevin and Donna’s daughter Kendra (Taylor Spreitler) springs news on the couple that she wants to drop out of college so she can support her unemployed fiancé, Chale (Ryan Cartwright) who wants to change the world with his new app. Chale is as similar to Kevin as Meathead was to Archie from All in the Family. Their next daughter Sara (Mary-Charles Jones) is said to have a “budding anger-management issue” (though it is unseen in the pilot) and youngest Jack (James DiGiacomo) suggests that he should stay home from school because he thinks he got a concussion playing football. Kevin reminds Jack that he plays a football video game, not the real thing. Then there’s Kevin’s former working buddies which are basically just different versions of Kevin and are the show’s weakest characters.

Review of "Kevin Can Wait"
James DiGiacomo and Kevin James (CBS)
Kevin Can Wait might have potential if the show the creators retool it. The creators actually have built a family unit that could be kind of fun to watch. Outside of a line or two that seem to come completely out of left field, the first episode is pretty clean. There is even mention that the family attends church, something that is rare to see on TV these days. Shows like this could be a comedy that they whole could enjoy if it was done well. Instead, it doesn’t seem to know what it wants. Kevin seems like a nice, beer-loving irresponsible buffoon and yet in the pilot’s main conflict, he manages to work it all out in a matter of seconds.

The problems with Kevin Can Wait include the show’s laugh track, some terrible one-liners and obvious promotion of commercial products including Muscle Milk, The Container Store and a long running gag with the Gyro Bowl (look it up) that feels like an infomercial. This last error would be preferable to actual commercials, but not both please.

Some of the show’s problems stem from the fact that the pilot show has to throw in every character and potential plot point to give viewers a good idea of what the show is all about and the second episode could be greatly improved. Maybe. Kevin is a great comedian, but he deserves better and should have waited a bit longer before signing on for this one.

Kevin Can Wait airs on Mondays at 8:30 p.m. on CBS.

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