Friday, October 3, 2014

Underthinking Pilot Season: Manhattan Love Story

Cat here. So I kind of have a weakness for shows that people tell me I shouldn't be watching. I haven't made myself sit down for a Breaking Bad or Mad Men marathon even though I've had Netflix for months now. But did I watch a full season of Mixology and two seasons of Smash? You bet I did.

OK, starting off, I know that there are a ton of shows that film in NY but it still makes me happy when I recognize a location.

This is terribly shallow but I find the blond facial hair of the main male character very offputting.

This is how I imagine executives for mainstream movies and television shows picture the male gaze.

So, the male character is focused on physical appearance and the female character is focused on purses. We'll see how this goes. I'm actually not completely opposed to this as they aren't abstract characters who are supposed to represent every man and every woman. If the show plays on the fact that these are very shallow individuals, it could work.

The secondary female character is a total stereotype but she's the most interesting person to appear on screen so far.

And now David is trying to sell Peter on why he should ask Dana on a date and I am starting to see why so many critics disliked this pilot.

Chloe: "No one thinks like you."
Peter: "No, everyone thinks like me."

If only I knew which one of these things you believed, show.

Wait, are Chloe and Peter siblings?

So Dana is a bit of a mess right now without being charming. I actually don't hate the voiceover and I could deal with her personality if they'd bothered to sell us on the character before launching into all of this. You have to make me like the character first. We have yet to see her be competent. At any point. In any way. You can't just launch into Carrie Bradshaw-style voiceover.

"Yes, if you smash your phone, the internet disappears." got me to smile.

So, I guess Dana's supposed to be a little nerdy since in the first five minutes she's already referenced Gandalf and muggles. Not sure how that makes her more human or relatable when those are two of the biggest book and film franchises ever.

Also, what crazy fictional New York is this where the strangers on the bus acknowledge your existence?

Hey, remember when I mentioned, Sex in the City? It's the face lady! Nina Katz. I am amused by the extras. I wonder how many of them will actually get to be fleshed out characters.

"If I actually capitalize words and use punctuation, am I some kind of freak?" Ugh. Show. Stop it. Was this written by committee?

Do they not have cell phones in Texas? She's in her twenties and not a Martian. How can she be this bad at using her phone?

Aw, her mean publishing supervisor got her stuck in the stairwell and she ended up putting her foot in a puddle of dirty water in a back alley. I feel like this show wants me to be more sympathetic and charmed by this.

The opening date banter wasn't terrible. Then the voiceovers came back in. Now I'm starting to find them annoying. I have transitioned to mildly amused. Sure, there are a lot of bad points but I'm fairly forgiving when it comes to pilots and there's always the chance that things could get a lot better in the second episode as long as there are a few bright spots in the pilot.

OK, show. I'm mildly amused and slightly charmed. "Is he crying? Great. Just when I start to like him, turns out he's gay." Ugh. Why do you have to ruin everything?

I liked the stinger with Amy. She's a character who in another story would easily be a villain or antagonist. I don't know why but right now she's the most interesting thing about the show to me.

Final Conclusion: There were a lot of cliches and jokes of questionable taste but for a twenty two minute pilot it wasn't that awful. I'll tune in for a second episode though I can't in good conscience recommend that you do the same.