Man-havin’ a Tough Time Grasping this Love Story
Hitting ABC this fall is a new romantic comedy, created by Jeff Lowell. “Manhattan Love Story,” stars Analeigh Tipton (“Crazy, Stupid, Love”) as Dana, an aspiring young woman trying to make her way in New York City, and the man we are inevitably fated to “ship” with Dana, Jake McDorman (one of the main stars of the television series, “Greek”). He depicts the handsome jerk, Peter, who after meeting Dana, is almost certain to change for the better.
When watching the pilot episode, I had high hopes for the show. Although cliché, the plot seemed appealing enough. There is the guy who, despite his grotesque commentary on the woman he passes, seems as if he has the capability to morph into a version of a man who will sweep Dana, and the viewers, off their feet. Then there is the girl who pulls a Carrie Bradshaw and moves to the city. We find a likeness toward her in the sense that she faces day-to-day uncomfortable situations like we do and is not without faults.
The pilot episode features the pair walking through the streets of New York — Dana wishing to take every bag from the women passing her by and Peter merely wanting to take the women. We automatically take on this omniscient role as the viewer, due to their voiceovers. Their commentary is a huge component of the script, as the one-to-one dialogue is lessened by the monologues executed by either Peter or Dana.
The all-knowingness that the voiceovers provided was surely supposed to be the big selling point for the show, as there hasn’t been a rom-com on television centered around their characters thoughts. However, this isn’t working so well for the new series. Within the last few episodes the characters would say something to another character that had just been articulated through the out-loud annotations, rendering them irrelevant.
The second episode depicts Dana as a strong monogamist, and Peter as, well, not so much. The show seemingly places women and men into grand generalizations. Dana, our female protagonist, is seen as someone obsessed with the concept of a simplistic love. Strictly contrasting this is Peter, the male, shown as a womanizer who can only be altered into a presentable man by a woman’s changes.
This being said, the show made some mistakes in relevance to gendering. Furthermore, the frustration increases as they two protagonists fall into a back and forth jealousy war which conclusively gets nowhere. In one episode they’re a couple and in the next they’re dating other people.
The third episode, “Gay or British” features Dana placed in again an extremely humiliating situation, discovering that Peter plans to bring a date to a dinner party at the loft where she lives. Thus, Dana goes to ask her recently hired, British boss as her date. This was another instance where I found the plot getting worsened with the continuous randomness of every episode.
With the show’s extremely short-lived, adorable impression, I truly don’t see this rom-com living a long life as a sitcom.
ONLY RECOMMENDED IF: You want a simple, crazy irrational show to watch and merely zone out to. It is laughable due to the absurdity so who knows, you may get a kick out of it.