TV Review: ABC’s “Cristela” a showcase for Alonzo’s comedic chops

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[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n the television world a sitcom can be hit or miss. Too many times there are shows out there that are broad and go for the low hanging fruit jokes. While at other times they can be successful by being a showcase for a single performer. Thankfully, Cristela balances this line by offering a warmhearted showcase of a close-knit family that hits the right jokes at the right time.

Cristela Alonzo, who co-created the show, plays a fictionalized version of herself. She’s a law school student living in Dallas, Texas who just landed an internship at a top of the line law firm. You would think that premise alone would be enough for a good television show, but in order to save money she lives with her sister, brother-in-law, niece, nephew and mother.

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Cristela Alonzo, María Canals Barrera, Gabriel Iglesias y Carlos Ponce son algunos de los miembros del reparto en el sitcom Cristela. Foto cortesía de ABC

A multi-camera sitcom of this sort sometimes feels a little forced, with it being a joke machine of one-liners. And even though Cristela does try for those easy jokes, it has a lot more going for it. Specifically, Alonzo’s talents as a comedic performer and her character are the prime reasons why this show works. She has the sitcom timings down to a tee and you can tell that the other cast members want to play at her level. The fall TV landscape has been a little dismal this season, with no show really breaking out. And although Cristela is not that particular standout show, it is a gem to watch.

Cristela airs Friday’s at 7:30 p.m. on ABC.

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