Manhattan Love Story is a romantic comedy focusing on the innermost thoughts of Dana and Peter, who have just started dating.
Manhattan Love Story does exactly what you would expect it to. It’s probably the show that has stayed truest to its promo. When I reviewed the promo the one word I used to describe it was cute, and that’s exactly what the pilot was. If you’re looking for a sweet rom-com then this is the show for you.
Like in most rom-coms the leading lady is a small town girl moving to the big city to pursue her dreams and find love. It’s been done a thousand times before but hey, why fix something that isn’t broken? The lady in question is Dana, played by Analeigh Tipton who showed off her comedy skills in Crazy Stupid Love. Dana is that typical girl next door type; sweet, shy and obsessed with handbags. Again it’s stereotypical but that stereotype is both relatable and likeable so I understand the writers desire to portray her as that. Tipton seems very at ease in the role, coming across as charming and adorable. Her inability to use her phone just made her that much more endearing. On the opposite end of the spectrum we have cynical ladies man Peter, played by another comedy veteran Jake McDorman. McDorman probably has the funnier material of the two and executes it well. Despite his jackass tendencies he comes across well. The two work well together but I think their chemistry level could be improved, at times it felt a bit lacking.
The supporting characters are made up of Peter’s dad William (Kurt Fuller), Peter’s sister Chloe (Chloe Wepper), Peter’s brother David (Nicolas Wright), and David’s wife Amy who happens to be Dana’s sorority sister (Jade Catta-Preta). Wright steals the show as David; his witty observations, constant drinking and fear of his wife make him the funniest character of the pilot.
The use of Dana and Peter’s thoughts really put a unique spin on this show. What’s great is that it’s so realistic, even when sometimes stereotypical. For example, I’m sure not all men start ignoring what a woman is saying when they check out her boobs but it does happen. The moment when she starts thinking, “Does he really think that I can’t tell he’s staring at my breasts?” was just great, because so many women (including myself) have had that exact same thought on a date. The whole inner thoughts idea also brings up the very real insecurities we feel when dating, and what’s better it kind of creates a sense of camaraderie by saying “Hey, we’ve all been through this, we all have these worries”. It makes both the show and characters very relatable. That’s what I love about this show.
The only negative I would have to say is how cute is too cute? When I described it as cute I meant it as a positive but if the writers push it too far it could turn into a negative. It also may affect the type and numbers of viewers the show gets. Yes fans of rom-coms will love it but the important question to ask is “Will anyone else?” I can just imagine viewers rolling their eyes at some of the soppy lines and antics used. However it has a very strong comedy backbone so if they focus on that then it shouldn’t be a problem.
Manhattan Love Story is a fun and charming new show that had me smiling throughout. With its unique twist, great cast and hilarious awkward situations it was a great pilot. If the writers manage to balance the romance and comedy, it could be a real hit