Sunday, October 26, 2014
The Love Alphabet (Television Review, A to Z, NBC)
Of all these rom-com comedies on television now, my favorite is NBC's "A to Z." Why? Bacuse of the charm of its two main stars, Ben Feldman and Christin Milotti. He was in "mad Men," and she was in the Broadway production of "Once," and here they have instant chemistry. Even Milotti's somewhat joyless aura serves her overworked lawyer here well, and Feldman's neurosis in Mad Men is toned down here to good use. But the two is not served well by the limiting premise - we know from the narrator (Katey Sagall) that they dated for x number of time. Plus, each episode starts with a letter of the alphabet, thereby limiting this series to just two seasons tops. Still, the pilot episode is one of those rare things: smart, funny, and yes, very romantic. Subsequent episodes pale in comparison. And, the second episode scenario (should one still go on a date scheduled before they have met) is exactly the same as the second episode plot of "Manhattan Love Story." (Do these writers just get their ideas from one pool?) By the fourth episode, things are more unfunny than funny. I kind of miss the vibe of the pilot, as it seems the writers have already run out of ideas! And lo and behold, this series is one of the early cancellations of the new season. Oh, well.