Va­ca­tion rental mined for laughs in

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - OUR TOWN - The TV Column ap­pears Sun­day, Tues­day and Thursday. Email: mstorey@arkansason­ MICHAEL STOREY

Your first clue that Greg Gar­cia’s new sit­com, The Guest Book, is in­tended for adults is that it de­buts at 9 p.m. to­day on TBS. Ca­ble shows that pre­miere at that rel­a­tively late hour usu­ally try to push the en­ve­lope.

When I at­tended the TV Crit­ics As­so­ci­a­tion sum­mer press tours in Bev­erly Hills, I’d oc­ca­sion­ally ask if a par­tic­u­larly “edgy” new show was be­ing aired too early. The net­work hon­chos al­ways arched an eye­brow and replied, “Oh, not at all. Small chil­dren will be in bed at 10 p.m.”

When re­minded that there is a fairly large chunk of the coun­try not on ei­ther coast, the suits were al­ways taken aback. To them, it’s al­ways bi­coastal time — New York or Los An­ge­les. The rest of us are in “fly­over” coun­try.

The Guest Book is rated TV-MA (“may be un­suit­able for chil­dren un­der 17”) and earned that rat­ing for adult lan­guage and sex­ual sit­u­a­tions. Make sure the small fry are back in their room watch­ing Bub­ble Gup­pies.

That caveat out of the way, what I’ve seen of the show so far is mildly risque or a bit off-color, not scan­dalous or shock­ing. But this is ba­sic ca­ble and one man’s amus­ing TV-MA is an­other man’s vul­gar deal-breaker.

Cre­ator/writer/pro­ducer Gar­cia has con­sid­er­able ca­chet in Hol­ly­wood. The cre­ator of My Name Is Earl, Rais­ing Hope and Yes, Dear was able to round up an im­pres­sive ros­ter of guest stars for The Guest Book, in­clud­ing the inim­itable Emmy-win­ning Margo Martin­dale (Jus­ti­fied, The Amer­i­cans).

The guest stars will change for each episode of the an­thol­ogy-ish se­ries, join­ing the core group of re­cur­ring regulars por­tray­ing the denizens of the small moun­tain re­sort town of Mount Trace.

The se­ries cen­ters on the ad­ven­tures of the dif­fer­ent guests who rent Froggy Cot­tage, the town’s log cabin va­ca­tion home. How Gar­cia came up with the clever con­cept is fas­ci­nat­ing.

“For sev­eral years,” a TBS news re­lease says, “Gar­cia has been writ­ing fic­ti­tious sto­ries in the guest books of var­i­ous rental cab­ins in an ef­fort to freak out the next renters. He has al­ways dreamed of hav­ing th­ese sto­ries come to life on screen, and now they will in The Guest Book.”

TBS has or­dered 10 episodes, all of which will be writ­ten by Gar­cia.

Among the Mount Trace regulars are Kel­lie Martin (Life Goes On) as po­lice of­fi­cer Kim­berly Leahy, and Char­lie Robin­son (Night Court) as Wil­frid, the easy­go­ing rental cot­tages man­ager. He’s as­sisted by his wife, Emma (Aloma Wright, Scrubs, Suits).

Carly Jib­son (Hair­spray) plays Vi­vian, the man­ager of a bikini bar called Chub­bys.

Other town regulars in­clude Gar­ret Dil­lahunt (Rais­ing Hope), Laura Bell Bundy (Anger Man­age­ment) and Ed­die Steeples (My Name Is Earl).

Guest stars rent­ing the cabin in­clude Danny Pudi (Com­mu­nity), Jenna Fis­cher (The Of­fice), Tommy Dewey (The Mindy Project), Lau­ren Lap­kus (Or­ange Is the New Black), Michaela Watkins (Ca­sual), Mary Lynn Ra­jskub (24), Michael Ra­pa­port (Sully), Kate Micucci (Rais­ing Hope) and Jaime Pressly (My Name Is Earl).

Oth­ers are Stockard Chan­ning (The Good Wife), An­drew J. West (The Walk­ing Dead), John Or­tiz (To­geth­er­ness), David Zayas (Gotham), Shan­non Wood­ward (West­world) and Steph­nie Weir (The Co­me­di­ans).

In tonight’s episode, “Story One,” it’s months af­ter hav­ing a child and a mil­que­toast mid­dle-school sci­ence teacher books Froggy Cot­tage in hopes of rekin­dling the ro­mance with his wife. He soon finds him­self in the midst of a crim­i­nal con­spir­acy.

Bonus: A sec­ond episode of The Guest Book fol­lows at 9:30 p.m. to­day.

NFL Foot­ball. There’s some­thing just not right about watch­ing pro foot­ball when it’s a sauna out­side, but here we go. The Dal­las Cowboys take on the Ari­zona Car­di­nals at 7 p.m. to­day on NBC. It’s the an­nual Hall of Fame Game in Can­ton, Ohio.

The Car­di­nals, who played in the first Hall of Fame Game in 1962, re­turn to Can­ton for the fifth time and the Cowboys will make their sixth ap­pear­ance in the se­ries.

Dal­las Cowboys Cheerleaders: Mak­ing the Team, 9 p.m. to­day, CMT. You know we live in a great coun­try when any lit­tle girl — with hard work, ded­i­ca­tion and the cream of the gene pool — can grow up to be one of the “world icon” Dal­las Cowboys Cheerleaders.

Wel­come to Sea­son 12 of the show, when the ladies get to join owner Jerry Jones as he’s in­ducted into the Pro Foot­ball Hall of Fame.

“You’re our finest faces of good­will as am­bas­sadors for our club,” Jones tells the squad in a clip. “Wow,” one star-struck cheer­leader re­sponds.

The se­ries takes viewers in­side the try­outs to see who makes the cut. Me? I just watch the cheerleaders to ad­mire the pre­ci­sion chore­og­ra­phy.

The Guest Book.

Laura Bell Bundy is one of the small town denizens on the quirky new TBS adult sit­com

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