He’s a misogynistic guy’s guy who objectifies women’s bodies as he’s walking down a crowded NYC street. She’s your typical girl’s girl lusting after handbags in the same exact fashion. That’s what we’re presented with in the opening scene of Manhattan Love Story, ABC’s quirky new sitcom about two unlikable caricatures falling in love in the Big Apple.
None of it works for me, least of all the gimmicky voice-overs, which is what the entire premise of the show is based on. Knowing Dana and Peter’s inner thoughts is supposed to be insightful and it’s anything but. We’ve seen this “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” schtick hundreds of times before, and Manhattan Love Story isn’t offering anything new, interesting, or fresh. Instead, everything feels dated, the voice-overs aren’t endearing or funny, and if that’s what Dana and Peter are really thinking then I’m going to have a really hard time liking them.
Peter (Jake McDorman) is every woman’s dating fears personified. He’s smug, tactless, and shallow. His brother David (Nicolas Wright) is even worse because he’s (somehow) married and spends the entire episode obsessing over a possible lesbian encounter his wife may or may not have had. It’s like if you took any random woman off the street and asked her to compile a list of least desirable qualities in a man and then slapped every single one of them onto these two characters.
Meanwhile, our female lead Dana (Analeigh Tipton from America’s Next Top Model and Warm Bodies) is socially awkward and technologically challenged, a pitfall that becomes a running gag throughout the pilot. I didn’t laugh once but I still think Dana can do better than Peter and I’m sorry that the show is forcing these two characters into a love story.
It’s clear that Manhattan Love Story is going for lovable but none of it is actually cute or romantic. Instead, everything feels forced. The jokes are not funny. The characters are one-note and so incredibly dull. The setting isn’t interesting. I mean, Manhattan? Really? It’s not like we haven’t seen Manhattan as the backdrop to one of these types of stories before and Manhattan Love Story promises to be more of the same.
Even Selfie has more going for it than Manhattan Love Story, which isn’t saying much. I say, skip it.