Plot: Maya (Laura San Giacoma) has built a career as an investigative journalist, but she was recently fired and is struggling to find a new position. The last place she wants to work ends up being her new destination, as lack of options land her in a role at fashion magazine Blush. Her father Jack (George Segal) owns the magazine and loves having his daughter around, but Maya believes the fluff articles to be below her skills. But since she is now on the staff, she is determined to punch up the content and do what she can to elevate the magazine’s profile. This clashes with some of the established staff members, such as former model Nina (Wendie Malick), Jack’s odd assistant Dennis (David Spade), and photographer Elliot (Enrico Colantoni), who enjoy the laid back, low pressure vibe at the office. Of course, Jack often finds himself caught in the middle but his quirky nature helps him keep out of the politics. Will Maya be able to make a difference at Blush, or will the others drag her into their drama and hijinks?
Entertainment Value: Just Shoot Me! ran for seven seasons and almost 150 episodes, so it enjoyed quite an impressive run. The show is a fairly typical sitcom, which means there’s not much depth, but it is brisk, harmless entertainment. The narrative centers on a fashion magazine filled with colorful characters, with the main conflict coming from ambitious, high strung Maya. She wants her work to be meaningful, while the others seem content to just have fun at work. Throw in Jack’s offbeat antics and this ensures the show has no shortage of potential clashes, though of course, each one is wrapped up within the half hour duration. As this is a sitcom, larger arcs are rare, but some ongoing threads do surface now and then. The main recurring elements involve the evolving relationships of the characters, but don’t expect in depth, complex webs of story here, just some light development. This is of course a double edged sword, as some prefer more substantial material, while others just want to sit back and have some laughs, so it depends on your preference at the moment. The humor is basic and predictable, but works better than it should thanks to the cast involved. So expect obvious jokes, but such is the nature of most sitcoms and if Just Shoot Me! wasn’t effective at those sitcom tropes, it wouldn’t have lasted seven seasons.
As I mentioned above, the cast is responsible for why Just Shoot Me! works so well, as they’re able to make the most of the material. The best performance comes from Laura San Giacomo, as the tightly wound Maya and since she is involved in most of the show’s conflicts, that puts her right in the spotlight in most episodes. Maya is well written and makes some good arguments, but isn’t a totally straight character, as she is often given silly moments and even some physical humor at times. I always enjoy George Segal, who is given another quirky, unpredictable character in this series, one likely to accidentally drug his employees or be oblivious to everything around him, then snap to attention in rare moments of lucidity. Wendie Malick is fine, but really amps up the humor in over the top ways, while Enrico Colantoni does his best with his womanizer role, but he is kind of an odd choice. And I am not a fan of David Spade, but if you appreciate his style of humor, you will likely enjoy his performance here. Overall the cast is rock solid and the show benefits greatly, as they’re usually able to elevate the humor and make the best of the material. Your potential interest in the show depends on your sitcom appreciation, as this show follows most of the usual sitcom conventions, but with a better than average cast involved. If you like a show that just tries to give you some laughs but never goes deep, then Just Shoot Me! might be of interest.