There's an abundance of heart and humor to be found in the new AFFIRM Originals series Live+Local premiering this very week on Pure Flix. Starring Dave Coulier (Full House, Fuller House) and Emily Pendergast as morning radio show hosts Tommy and Tina from popular Christian radio station K-HUGG, Live+Local may not have the diehard edginess of classic radio industry sitcoms like WKRP in Cincinnati or NewsRadio but one episode in it's already showing signs of finding its own distinct voice by weaving together a tapestry of faith, friendship, and more than a little inspiration.
While K-HUGG has long been one of Christian radio's top performers, the station has lately been showing signs of a ratings drop. New producer Jerry (Pat Cashman) has more than a few plans to shake things up, possibly at the expense of self-proclaimed frontman Tommy (Coulier) and in favor of his perceived "sidekick" Tina (Pendergast).
Content with his place in the radio world, Coulier's Tommy is grumpy and grizzled and refuses to consider any changes to the show that might disrupt his world and no matter how much they might actually work. We're introduced to him fresh off a going away party for the show's most recent producer and program director, a party he skipped in favor of, well, being at home.
Pendergast's Tina, on the other hand, is just about as warm and bubbly in real life as she is on the radio whether she's chiding Tommy for his poor diet or embracing new ideas for the show or even, gasp!, podcasting and social media.
Unsurprisingly, Jerry takes an immediate liking to Tina. And then there's Tommy.
For the most part, episode one is simply setting up Live+Local for the series to follow which weaves together studio time and a variety of special guests set to appear on the show including Christian comic Leanne Morgan and author/magician Danny Ray in this episode and future appearances by the likes of Christian singer Colton Dixon, Skillet's John Cooper, author Anna Lind Thomas, Christian band Anthem Lights, Master Chef winner Whitney Miller, The Chosen creator Dallas Jenkins, and others.
Live+Local is, indeed, a warm hug of a television series with a terrific chemistry between Coulier and Pendergast driving the sitcom's heart and humor and bringing us in and making us not want to leave. Rest assured that while conflicts play out here, they do so with holiness and heartfelt within the foundation and a drive toward living life faithfully even when it's not going exactly as planned. This is the Coulier we've long loved, a grumpy gus with a quiet little heart of gold even if he doesn't quite have the energy to show it all the time. We've seen Pendergast before in projects like Veep, Love, and most recently We're Doing Good, but I'm really looking forward to seeing where she takes this character with her wide-smile charisma and winning work here in episode one of what promises to be yet another winning series from AFFIRM Originals and Pure Flix.
The series is written and directed by Dan Merchant, whom I had the privilege of meeting with his debut project Lord, Save Us From Your Followers, a project that offers evidence that Merchant isn't afraid to also be thought-provoking and challenging. Merchant is also known for another top-notch new series on Pure Flix, Going Home.
Supporting players Pat Cashman, as new producer Jerry, and Kendra Ann Sherrill as Lucy, a former intern who has joined the staff and is figuring out her place in this entire scenario round out the key players here and promise that this current six-episode series will deliver all the goods while celebrating faith, family, friendship, and laughter.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic