Short & Sweet: 'Sarah Silverman Program'

Photo: Steve Agee

Premiere: This Thursday at 10:30 p.m., Comedy Central

Premise: It's a day in the life of jobless Sarah, who gets high off cough syrup, watches her favorite TV show Cookie Party, hangs out with her gay neighbors Brian and Steve, and sponges off her sister (played by her actual sister). Sarah falls into about one bizarro predicament a day, which she handles with her classic brand of un-P.C. grace.

Press-release sell: "Whether she's Sunday brunching, watching TV or reciting Anne Frank's Diary during the talent portion of a kid's beauty pageant, Sarah always has a smile on her face, a song in her heart and an out of nowhere moment you won't believe waiting to happen."

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Highlights: Sarah's Celine Dion-esque video in a flowy white dress against the rocky, wave-crashing beach to her song "I Pooped" is inspired. Then there are the usual Sarah-style jokes that Silverman fans, who believe she is commenting and not a homophobic racist, will enjoy. "Gay!..Oh, I don't mean gay like homosexual gay, I mean gay, like, retarded." Or when Sarah goes on the run from the cops and the police officer immediately calls it in: "We have a black male . . .oh sorry [white female]..force of habit."

Lowlights: Minus the Dion clip, Sarah's poop jokes get boring after a while. We get it, she's cute and she poops. You also want to reach into your TV and slap her every once in a while, when her cutesy sorority-girl intonations—"Time to get ready for Cookie Party!!!"—start to grate.

Why is this eerily reminiscent of: To her credit, no other show immediately comes to mind.

Final verdict: A little uneven. Some of the scenes tend to drag; you get the feeling that this would have been better relayed in a stand-up routine than acted out. But perhaps this is just growing pains, and the series smooths out later?

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