I have now watched several episodes of Sherri, and I have been a fan of Sherri's for quite some time. I have especially enjoyed watching her on the View and applaud Barbara Walters for having the wisdom to recognize the joyful and intelligent balance that Sherri appears to bring to any manner of dramatic situation. However, I fear the success she has enjoyed on the View is in strong danger of NOT translating to "Sherri" in spite of Lifetime's assertion that her new series has significantly improved its ratings for the given time slot. The reasons behind my fear are summarized as follows:
It Lacks Genuine Relationships – All great comedies need to presents characters who have relationships that they, themselves, genuinely seem to care about. Think about sitcoms that have enjoyed a long shelf life. All of them such as "Seinfeld," "Everybody Loves Raymond," "The Cosby Show," "The Golden Girls," "Friends," "Will & Grace," etc., all present relationships that the audience can immediately identify with and care about – because the characters themselves struggle so much with them – and often with very humorous results. Sherri doesn't really offer any relationships that we can care about. She's great friends with all her co-workers and even gets along unrealistically well with her ex-husband who is having a baby with a much younger woman. It Lacks a "Realness" of Storytelling – Perhaps it's just me (but I doubt it); but I really cannot buy into the fact that a woman in Sherri's situation would be constantly surrounding by such an over-the-top supportive cast of characters. I mean – Really?! Unfortunately, women in the office are rarely as supportive of one another as Celia and Angie are of Sherri. There would be a greater potential for comedy if the writers introduced some real tension among the 3 "girlfriends" in the office. Angie and Celia just seemed too focused (without reason) on Sherri's well-being and happiness. And come on – would a woman ever be so okay – so quickly - with the humiliation of the likes bestowed on her by Sherri's ex-husband? And why doesn't Sherri have at least one gay best friend? This is a glaring omission, and one that makes for the most serious damage to the show. In Sherri's world, gay people don't appear to exist – and I would argue that it would be nearly impossible to find one black woman experience a dynamic similar to Sherri's that didn't have at least 1 gay friend a la Julie Roberts and Rupert Everett in My Best Friend's Wedding. Wake up people! Gay people represent at least HALF of Lifetime's audience!
It's Not Age Appropriate – Okay, this probably goes back to the lack of "realness" regarding the storytelling. But Sherri is 42-years old and while I can appreciate the fun to be experienced while sitting around in the office clowning around like you're back in high school, I don't think this strategy best serves this sitcom's potential for longevity. For example, I think Sherri would be more concerned about not having had sex in a while rather than not having been out on a date. I'm just keeping it real. In other words, the whole episode about her agonizing over a failed kiss with the Doctor just didn't ring true on so many levels – and would have been more appropriate for an episode of "Leave it to Beaver."
Well, I could go on as I often do – but I won't. Sherri has a lot of potential for greatness – I just hope the writers realize this before it's too late.