It’s cute, it’s awkward, and there are one or two people of color in the whole show. So it must be a Manhattan Love Story.
Review (with Spoilers)
Let me just begin by saying, it seems so weird to me that in a city like New York, there seriously is such a huge focus on just the white people who live there. That thought aside, with Analeigh Tipton continuing to show that being the naïve girl next door never gets old, you have Manhattan Love Story. A show which seemingly only comes off even a smidge unique since we can hear the thoughts of the couple we can focus on. However, being that this is a comedy, naturally said thoughts are a mixed of feelings you would have and thoughts spoke just for the sake of a laugh.
Characters & Story
Dana (Analeigh Tipton) comes off as your usual small town girl who just came to the big city. She is filled with hopes and dreams, and yet the city she goes to, New York, doesn’t necessarily welcome her with open arms. Her friend Amy (Jade Catta-Preta) does, to a point, but certainly not the city as a whole. So, to help Dana become acclimated to the city, and not end up a constant third wheel between Amy and her husband David (Nicholas Wright), she hooks Dana up with her brother-in-law Peter (Jake McDorman).
Thus leading to us watching the ever awkward Dana try to take on a new job as a Junior Editor, at a firm which recently downsized, and deal with Peter who is a bit of butt head.
Honestly, I find the gimmick of us getting to hear both Peter and Dana’s thoughts cute, and sometimes hilarious. If just because you do have to wonder sometimes in shows like this “What were they thinking!?” and it seems we may often get the answer to that question. Now, as for the story presented, I’m of the opinion that it would have been nicer if Tipton was the star and Peter was more so a love interest than a co-star. If just because, while the whole new girl to the city thing has been done before, I honestly felt more invested in her than Peter. Especially since co-workers Sue (Nadia Dajani) and Brian (Ajay Naidu) seemed to be ready to ostracize her and make her life in the firm a living hell. And while Sue backed down from the position, after Dana stood up for herself, Brian seems like he may remain a problem.
Thus creating the idea that as much as Dana maybe sugar sweet, naïve, and a tad awkward, this doesn’t mean she is like many a female protagonist who can’t, or won’t, stick up for themselves just because they want to be liked. Something rather refreshing to me since I always hated when a character would constantly vent how they hated their job and yet didn’t try to make the situation better at all. Leading to me ultimately feeling a bit attached to Dana and wanting to see good things happen to her.
But while Dana is praiseworthy, the rest of the show is a work in progress. Starting with Peter, he seems like the generic butt wipe who usually is reserved to be the first bad love experience a character has early on in a show. However, being that he shares top billing with Tipton, it seems McDorman is going to stick around for a while. Though it isn’t just him I find hard to like or get into. Amy is a bit too pushy and doesn’t come off like a big sister, or even a motherly type. She is more so a control freak who barely seems human, but more so a character who you have likely seen, in a similar form, on another TV show. Then, when it comes to her husband David, honestly the only thing I can remember about him is that he has a keen interest in knowing if Amy and Dana hooked up in college. Outside of that, I’m sort of unsure if he may have a legit purpose on this show.
Leaving one last issue: gender stereotyping. Now, let it be known I’m not a social justice warrior, but I find it weird our introduction to the whole “you will hear their thoughts as they go throughout their day” gimmick had Peter just evaluating women as he walked down the street, and then Dana evaluating handbags as she walked down the street. For while I get this is supposed to help establish these characters, I feel like they could have made a better introduction for these two. Also, I really did not understand why, on ABC of all stations, when Peter was crying when seeing the Statue of Liberty with Dana, she questioned whether he was gay. For, unless this was to establish maybe where she grew up men didn’t cry, it seemed like a rather odd comment for her to make. In her thoughts mind you.
Overall: Stick Around
This show to me is likable, mostly because of Tipton, and is worth sticking around for. However, I do feel Amy, Peter, and David need to be developed and evolve for this series to really have legs on it. For while the romance between Peter and Dana is certainly cute, and knowing what they are thinking helps, Tipton’s character is the only one, I feel, that comes off likable and genuine in some way. Everyone else seems like they are playing some character from a comedy movie which bombed at the box office because it utterly sucked.