Wednesday has become family comedy night on ABC – which is not to say a night of comedies for the family, unless you're prepared to tell your children why there are no big kitties in "Cougar Town." "Modern Family" is the pole from which this tent depends, and there is also "The Middle," and now "Better with You," a multi-camera sitcom made by people familiar -- perhaps overfamiliar -- with the form.
Creator Shana Goldberg-Meehan worked on "Mad About You" and "Friends," and the pilot was directed by James Burrows, of "Taxi" and "Cheers" and so on, who also directed the pilots for this year's "$#*! My Dad Says" and "Mike & Molly." It's not bad at all, but it so completely a thing of its kind as to make no extraordinary claims on your attention.
Like "Modern Family," it concerns three interlinked couples; parents Vicky and Joel (Debra Jo Rupp and Kurt Fuller); daughters Maddie and Mia (Jennifer Finnigan and Joanna Garcia) and their respective beaus, Ben and Casey (Josh Cooke and Jake Lacy). Unmarried older sister Maddie has lived with Ben for nine years: "It's a valid lifestyle choice," she protests, too much. Mia has known Casey -- who plays in "an avant-garde metal band with a performance art component," though nothing about his character suggests that this is so -- just over seven weeks. But they'll be engaged before the pilot is half over.