better with you

Premieres Sept. 22 at 8:30PM on ABC
Mia (JoAnna Garcia) and Casey (Jake Lacy) have been dating for two months and are getting married. Maddie (Jennifer Finnigan) and Ben (Josh Cooke) have been together for nine years, but aren’t married. Their parents are going on 35 years strong (Debra Jo Rupp and Kurt Fuller). Though it is sketched too closely in the image of countless sitcom tropes, the pilot at least is charming — funny in that traditional sitcom sort of way. And these couples, made up of familiar TV faces, feel genuine. However minor a victory (considering the overall tepidness of the fall’s new shows), it is the funniest pilot of the season. Grade: B+

the defenders

Premieres Sept. 22 at 10 p.m. EST on CBS (CTV in Canada)
Even if you are still plagued by the seemingly endless run of ACCORDING TO JIM, forgiveness is awarded by Jim Belushi in this surprisingly compelling courtroom drama in the vein of BOSTON LEGAL (so, uh, “quirky”). Him and Jerry O’Connell play Nick Morelli and Pete Kaczmarek, defense attorneys running an upcoming Las Vegas firm that’s building a reputation for going all-in for its clients. It doesn’t amount to much more than your standard CBS procedural, but the cast is well-rounded (FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHT’s Jurnee Smollett also stars as a rookie attorney) and has a sense of (actual) humor. Grade: B-

Aleks Chan is a contributing writer to The TV Addict. He has seen every episode of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER four times, has once referred to his DVR as his “best friend,” and has only seen the pilot episode of THE SOPRANOS — and has no intention to apologize for it. He lives in Austin, Texas. His name is pronounced like Alex. Email him at, follow him on Twitter (@alekstvaddict), or his own blog, Screen Reader.

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  • Eliott

    “it is the funniest pilot of the season”

    Really? I would rate Raising Hope as the funniest I've seen so far, probably a B+

  • Nick

    Better With You is the first new comedy I've seen thus far, and IT WAS HYSTERICAL. *Everyone* is funny, but Jake Lacy is a real find….and his soon-to-be brother-in-law is a riot, too. The parents are such pros, the comedy just flows. And JoAnna Garcia? What more can be said about her talent?

  • Nicole Woods

    Passed On Both

  • Chuck

    Better With You was a train wreck. Maybe it would have been better if they would have turned up the laugh track another few notches until it completely drowned out the dialog? Maybe they could have hired a director to “direct” the actors' performances? How did this pilot even make it to air?