Pilots are always interesting, as so much can change between the premiere and subsequent episodes.
The things that don't work are usually scaled back or cut completely. And the things that do work are expanded. With that being said, I hope the dual voice overs are scaled back considerably.
I found a lot to like about Manhattan Love Story Season 1 Episode 1, but I found the voice overs to be a bit jarring and not wholly necessary. I'll be interested to see in the future how often they're used or if this something we will see in the pilot and then it will magically fade away.
The voice overs kind of overshadow the story at times, which is a shame because this show has the potential to be very charming.
Dana, played by the adorable Analeigh Tipton, is the classical fish out of water, attempting to follow her dreams in the city that never sleeps. For the time being, she is bunking with an old sorority sister and her husband in an insane apartment. Seriously though, the apartment is insane.
Dana starts her new job at a publishing house and encounters a very unfriendly staff that is anything but welcoming. After one particularly rude co-worker sends her upstairs, only to lock her out of all the floors and make her walk down 40 some flights of stairs, she hits him with this voice over...
You owe me a pair of shoes. And a tetanus shot.Dana
I wish she'd actually said it to him, he may have shown her some more respect.
On the flip side, Dana's suitor is Peter, played by Greek alum Jake McDorman, who is sporting a lot of unnecessary facial hair. He works with his family making trophies and he seems like a pretty basic guy who thinks he has all women figured out, as evidenced by this exchange with his sister, Chloe.
Peter: Here, come look at this profile pic of this girl that David and Amy are setting me up with.
Chloe: Which one is she?
Peter: The ugly one.
Chloe: How do you know?
Peter: If you're pretty, you're not going to risk having people think that you're the wrong one. But, if you're not pretty, you're counting on it.
The pair is set up by Peter's other sibling and his wife, who, you guessed it, are the friends Dana is staying with.
After some awkwardness involving Dana apparently having never used a cell phone before, the two agree to go on a date which goes wrong from the start. The scene is set up to be funny and some of it is, but the voice overs just ruined it for me because they seemed so unrealistic.
Would Peter really be thinking about whether or not he watered his plants while Dana is talking? Yeah, I don't think so. And would there really be so much inner dialogue while watching someone stare at your breasts? Doubtful.
And the bit with the deaf guy was just a contrived way to show us that hey, Peter is from New York and knows people lie to get money and Dana is a sweetheart who only wants to see the best in people. We get it.
To drive this point home even more, later in the episode, Peter actually says OUT LOUD...
Come on, it's not like I'm the kind of guy who makes everything a joke so if someone gets offended it's their fault.Peter
Yes, Peter that is who you are. Even your voice over agrees!
Ultimately, Peter comes around after reading some things on Dana's perfunctory New York bucket list and the two are able to go on a nice date to see the Statue of Liberty. The two really do have a nice chemistry and it will be fun to see what their dating future looks like.
Going forward, it will also be nice to see how the supporting cast gets included into their dating story. The pilot was all about setting up Peter and Dana's epic romance, as it should be, but I'd definitely like to see more of Peter's family, as they were bright spots whenever on screen.
Overall, there was plenty to like and plenty to be a bit unsure of. But pilots are rarely perfect and I'm hoping with each passing week the show continues to build on its strengths.
Now it's time for you to let me know what you thought. Did you like the voice overs? Will you be tuning in next week? Did anyone really miss Greek after watching this?
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.