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TV CRITIC'S CORNER

Eliza Coupe is one to turn to on ‘Pivoting’

From left: Maggie Q, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Eliza Coupe in "Pivoting."FOX

I’m a fan of Eliza Coupe, and I’ll watch shows that I otherwise wouldn’t watch because she’s in them. She does comic cynicism and shameless selfishness like nobody’s business. She may be best known for “Happy Endings,” the punchy, lovable hangout sitcom that ABC sadly and wrongly decided to cancel after three seasons in 2013. But she has been on a number of series since then, including USA’s short-lived “Benched” and Hulu’s “Future Man.”

Coupe is back on a new single-camera Fox sitcom called “Pivoting” and once again, she’s a standout. “Pivoting” is another hangout sitcom, this time with three friends who are reevaluating their lives after the death of a fourth friend. Coupe is Amy, who vows to develop a maternal instinct, which is an admirable idea since she already has kids with her husband (played by Tommy Dewey of “Casual”). Maggie Q is Sarah, a high-powered, newly single doctor who impulsively quits and takes a job as a supermarket bagger, to de-stress. And Ginnifer Goodwin is the unhappily married Jodie, who vows to get in physical shape.

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The three episodes I’ve seen were just OK, as they relied on overfamiliar plotlines, one which painfully finds Jodie forcing herself into skinny jeans to flirt with the hunky young trainer she’s crushing on. But it usually takes a while for this kind of comedy to gel, for the actors and writers to find their rhythms and tangents together. The three leads have a good chemistry, and the loss that triggered all the reevaluation adds a nice bit of poignancy to the show. Now the show, which airs Thursdays at 9:30 p.m., needs to pivot toward some better comic material.


Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.