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Type mismatch made for TV

(CBS Broadcasting Inc.)

Television

Type mismatch made for TV

CBS sitcom B Positive features an odd couple with compatible kidneys

They’re a 21st-century odd couple: Drew (Thomas Middleditch), an uptight therapist separated from his wife, is in renal failure. Party girl Gina (Annaleigh Ashford) drives a bus for a retirement home and is dodging a loan shark. She moves in with Drew when they learn she’s a compatible kidney donor. The relationship is platonic thus far.

The new CBS sitcom B Positive comes from the mind of Chuck Lorre, creator of Two and a Half Men and other hit shows. Middleditch and Tony Award winner Ashford display keen comic timing, and scenes regularly set in a dialysis center must be a TV first. There, Drew commiserates with a dentist, a retired football pro, and a businesswoman.

The possible reconciliation of Drew and his wife attests to the value of marriage. But recreational drug use and Gina’s crude conversations with her elderly riders (deserving something stronger than the show’s TV-14 rating), as well as the punctilious gay affirmations, grow wearisome.

“Do you like any boys in your class, or girls?” Drew quizzes his preteen daughter over coffee. “Or maybe you feel like you’re the wrong gender?”

B Positive has a gutsy premise but stomach-turning dialogue (and gruesome opening credits). And unless Drew experiences additional organ failure, it’s hard to see this show stretching beyond one season.

—This story appears in the Jan. 30, 2021, issue under the headline “Type mismatch.”