Monday, October 6, 2008

Pilot Review: The Ex List

The Ex List (CBS)
Premiered October 3 at 9pm

I'll admit that this is a clever premise, adapted from an apparently brilliant Israeli series. It could be a more joyous and quality version of "My Name is Earl," with a decidedly different twist. As such, this first episode does an appropriate job setting things up. My problems with the show don't lie so much with its plot as with its characters. Elizabeth Reaser, recently an Emmy nominee for her guest appearance on "Grey's Anatomy," and also the lead in the highly underseen and underrated "Puccini for Beginners," is the star here. She's really not a very likable character - her neurosis pervades any hope of her becoming a compelling lead figure. She's just too annoying, and it's nearly impossible to sympathize with her and her quest. I couldn't honestly care less about whether she finds the man of her dreams. Additionally, subplots about roommate Vivian's pubic hair were not funny at all and I think they were supposed to be. This show could work, but right now it just doesn't have a leg to stand on.

How will it work as a series? The Israeli version only lasted eleven episodes, if I'm correct, so that doesn't exactly bode well for the life of this show. Then again, the British version of "The Office" was only twelve episodes and the American version is healthily entering its fifth seasons. "My Name is Earl" seems like it could keep going for years, and as long as this show doesn't try to have Bella settle down too quickly, it should be good for a while.
How long will it last? I've read that the numbers weren't much better than the canceled "Moonlight" which used to occupy the same time slot. It is nicely nested within CBS' Friday-night lineup, in between the uber-successful "Ghost Whisperer" and "Numb3rs." Will this appeal to the same crowd? Possibly, but I think it's a season and out here.

Pilot grade: C-

No comments: