Starring: Analeigh Tipton (“Crazy, Stupid, Love.”), Jake McDorman (“Shameless”), Nicolas Wright (“White House Down”), Jade Catta-Preta (“Californication”) and Kurt Fuller (“Better with You”).
Genre: Single-camera comedy
Premiere Date: Tuesday, September 30, 8:30 p.m., ABC
Direct Competition: “NCIS” (CBS), “The Voice” (NBC), “Utopia” (Fox), “The Flash” (CW)
Premise (in 140 characters or less): A misogynist (McDorman) and a cliché (Tipton) fall for each other after a series of unfortunate events.
Initial Reaction: The overuse of voiceover is glaringly obvious in the wake of an underdeveloped script.
Conclusion: Analeigh Tipton was so charming in “Crazy, Stupid, Love.,” so what’s the excuse for her blandness in “Manhattan Love Story?” I don’t blame her, though. I also don’t blame Bret Harrison lookalike, Jake McDorman, for his equally bland performance. The show’s central duo has very little to work with, and the cold open (he’s strolling down the streets of New York rating women, while she’s strolling down the streets of New York rating handbags) is primitive of what I’m talking about. He’s a misogynist. She’s a cliché. To add to the romantic comedy cliché of it all, she’s a starry-eyed twenty-something overwhelmed by her move to the Big Apple.
The characters in “Manhattan Love Story” are remarkably one-dimensional. Perhaps if the pilot spent more time letting us get to know them, and less time listening to their voiceovers, we’d sympathize with either one of them when the pilot wants us to be sympathetic. To make matters even worse, Tipton’s best friend couple/roommates are just awful, awful people. Gosh, just, terrible people.
If I liked these characters, or cared for them in any way, then I’d give this show a few weeks to find its sea legs, but by the end of it, I liked them even less. For the sake of everyone involved, I hope a second version of the “Manhattan Love Story” pilot comes about that reduces the use of voiceover and adds new scenes to help develop its central duo. The supporting characters need a total rewrite.
Watch Live, DVR or Skip?: Skip this and re-watch “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” instead.