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Television Review

Small moments are fab in indie sendup of LA

Laura Kightlinger returns as Jackie in the second season of 'The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman.' Laura Kightlinger returns as Jackie in the second season of "The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman." (chris leschinsky/ifc)

"The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman" returns for its second season tomorrow night. That will mean nothing to most TV viewers, but it should inspire a small grin from those of us with a taste for Hollywood's twisted ladies of irony. If you're a fan of Sarah Silverman, Kathy Griffin, or Sandra Bernhard, women who relish revealing La-La Land in all its naked absurdity, then you'll probably find something to like about this IFC show.

"Jackie Woodman" is a sitcom with a strong indie-film flavor. Laura Kightlinger, formerly a writer-performer on "Saturday Night Live" and "Will & Grace," stars as Jackie, a magazine writer in LA who wants to write for the movies. She and her best friend, Tara (Nicholle Tom), stumble in and out of the fringes of the movie business, where there is none of the glamour of "Entourage" and lots of silly urbanites dabbling in cults and drinking too much coffee. As they insult people, and use others to get what they want, they're a little bit Lucy and Ethel, and they're a little bit "Absolutely Fabulous."

In tomorrow night's episode, Jackie and Tara fall in with a lesbian SUV club, where they discover that life on LA's lesbian circuit has its benefits. So they pretend to be gay, in the manner of Adam Sandler's "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry." Tara gets a discount on an SUV -- "You are family," the lesbian car salesmen tells her -- and Jackie gets extra work. But things go awry, of course, partly when a Christian environmental group named Treezus destroys Tara's tires. Next week, Jackie's mother, played by Mary Kay Place, returns to the show to put a kink in Jackie's career aspirations.

The fun of "Jackie Woodman" is in the small moments, as every character exhibits some degree of LA-style narcissism, not least of all Jackie. Taking down Hollywood is far from a fresh concept; ridiculing the movie biz has been around as long as the movie biz. But Kightlinger, with her deep voice, and Tom clearly have a great time as friends who love/hate each other, and who are upfront about their hunger to get ahead and to get men. And some of the incidental moments -- a fistfight in line at a cafe, a giggle-athon over a spray toy in Laura's magazine office -- are irresistible. It's the funny little non sequiturs that are this show's best minor accomplishment.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at For more on TV, visit


The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman

Starring: Laura Kightlinger, Nicholle Tom


Time: Tomorrow, 11:30 p.m.-midnight