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NBC's Best Friends Forever is better suited to eternal damnation

Never again? The cast of Best Friends Forever. NBC photo

Premiering: Wednesday, April 4th at 7:30 p.m. (central) on NBC
Starring: Jessica St. Clair, Lennon Parham, Luka Jones, Stephen Schneider, Daija Owens
Produced by: Scot Armstrong, Jessica St. Clair, Lennon Parham, Alexa Junge, Fred Savage, Ravi Nandan

A beating from beginning to merciful end, NBC's Best Friends Forever marks the last of the Peacock's new scripted series this season before networks reboot in May with revamped fall lineups.

NBC still has only two bonafide hits in its prime-time lineup. And both of them -- Sunday Night Football and The Voice -- are of the unscripted persuasion.

BFF, launching after the re-launch of Betty White's Off Their Rockers, isn't about to alter that equation. You probably wouldn't wish it on your worst enemy.

We once again begin with a jilted woman. Lennon and the extremely annoying Jessica (Lennon Parham, Jessica St. Clair) briefly Skype-talk about the advisability of keeping their va jay-jay areas "natural" before the latter receives her divorce papers via two-day ground mail.

Jessica is traumatized in a suitably sitcom-y way before Lennon implores her to cross the country back to Brooklyn -- and the apartment they once shared. One complication: Lennon is now living with her boyfriend, Joe (Luka Jones), a shlump who loves both "Lazy Sundays" and his inflatable Michigan Wolverines chair.

Three's a crowd, with Jessica coaxing Lennon to resume their tradition of watching Steel Magnolias together while Joe starts to feel like a second hand rose. BFF also works in another guy named Rav (Stephen Schneider) -- an old friend of Jessica's -- and sassy Queenetta (Daija Owens), a nine-year-old black girl with a fondness for trash-talking. It's an insulting characterization at best.

St. Clair over-plays virtually every scene she's in -- in a comedy that exaggerates from start to finish. None of these characters really registers on the relatable human being scale. And the premise is thoroughly dog-eared anyway.

BFF leads into what almost assuredly will be the last two episodes of the exceedingly better Bent, which NBC has thrown away via a six-episode order and a back-to-back scheduling scheme on three successive Wednesdays opposite American Idol.

Next week brings the peripatetic Rock Center with Brian Williams in Bent's place, with BFF supposedly returning for a second episode. Its principal executive producer, Scot Armstrong, co-wrote the screenplay for The Hangover, Part II.

Watching BFF leaves only a dull, but throbbing headache.