Monday, March 7, 2011

What I’m Watching: Better With You

Better With You: Season 1, Episode 16 “Better Without a Couch” (B+)

The first departure from the official “better with” standard episodic title format is a roaring success, and it’s a breath of fresh air after three weeks of iffy episodes that have just led up to this. I applaud this show for following through with its would-be idle threats by having Mia calmly take Casey’s phone and insert it into the microwave as soon as she learned that his ex-girlfriend had called him earlier that day. This episode seemed far more focused on plot rather than convention, setting up one standalone instance as a frame of reference for funny flashbacks and future standoffs involving the extremely jealousy-prone Putney sisters and their hapless male companions. I enjoyed the fact that the ex-girlfriend’s name was Jessica made things considerably worse, and Mia played perfectly on that when she discovered it. It was fun to see Samaire Armstrong, of “The O.C.,” “Entourage,” and “Dirty Sexy Money,” pop up as the abovementioned Jessica, even if she didn’t have much to do other than horrify Casey and rile up Mia. Among my favorite moments in the episode were the poor attempt to get the girls locked out on the balcony that resulted in them immediately keying back into the apartment and Casey telling Mia that he didn’t actually date Jessica, only to reveal to her that he only said it to make her feel better. It’s almost more fun to see these guys screw up than it is to see them get things right, because experiencing them atoning for and coming back from their shortcomings is what makes this show enjoyable.

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