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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

PILOT REVIEW: Manhattan Love Story


Starring: Analeigh Tipton, Jake McDorman, Nicolas Wright, Jade Catta-Preta, Chloe Wepper, and Kurt Fuller

Created by Jeff Lowell
Written by Jeff Lowell, Directed by Michael Fresco

THE PREMISE: Manhattan Love Story is a new romantic comedy that gives viewers the inner monologues and thoughts of its two leads. Dana (Analeigh Tipton) is new to the Big Apple, looking for a career and armed with a bucket list. She lives with college friend Amy (Jade Catta-Preta) and Amy's husband, David (Nicolas Wright). In the pilot, she is set up with David's co-worker Peter (Jake McDorman) and sparks may fly despite a rocky first date. Rounding out the main cast is David and Peter's boss (and the requisite father-figure) William (Kurt Fuller).

THE GOOD: Well, this show tries to be a bit of a love letter to NYC and it mostly succeeds in that. The show has a very cute approach but it does make the city look appealing in an idealistic, love-struck kind of way. I guess that's a good thing? I actually think the actors are pretty competent but they're given so little to work with.

THE BAD: We may have found the worst new sitcom of the season (though I haven't seen some other supposed stinkers yet, so we'll see). The problem is that the whole thing that sets this show apart - hearing the inner thoughts of the two leads - is the worst part about the show. It's all sorts of wrong. Not only is it gimmicky, it doesn't allow for subtext at all, diminishing the actors. No one wants to hear inner thoughts throughout the show. I find it annoying when a show uses it for one scene. Aside from the fact that it is cheap, it also isn't funny. It's incredibly awkward as evidenced by the painful dinner scene between Dana and Peter. The show also reduced men and women down to pretty lame stereotypes. I'm not a liberal progressive blogger, yet I found it surprising how simplistic the show chose to make these two characters we're supposed to fall in love with. The final little problem was the overuse of the social media mistakes by Dana. It was tolerable at first and got old fast (just like the voices). Lazy, bad writing.

BOTTOM LINE: Considering how much I disliked Selfie, it's hard to believe that I think even less of this show, but I do. I read how the producers wanted to make each episode like a mini Woody Allen film. Well if we had that, we'd be OK but we don't. A cute little premise and decent actors are destroyed by gimmicky concepts and horrible writing. I have a feeling this Love Story is going to be a pretty short one.

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