Monday, June 20, 2011

Take Three: Love Bites

Love Bites: Season 1, Episode 3 “Keep On Truckin’’ (C+)

I’m continually astounded by the sheer number of guest stars whose names I recognize at the start of each episode of this show. It’s not necessarily that I recognize them but rather that there are so very many. For an hourlong show, it seems to incorporate an awful lot of people. That’s what comes from having only three core cast members, of course, and therein lies the show’s main problem. No matter how much his association with tattoos is emphasized, I’m never going to believe that Greg Grunberg is actually Judd, the character he’s supposed to be playing. He simply isn’t convincing, and Constance Zimmer, who barely appeared in this episode, lacks just the edge and believability that Pamela Adlon brought to the role of Colleen in the pilot. I was thrilled to see the third star, Becki Newton, finally get a showcase worthy of her talents, even if it did involve an extremely unoriginal and over-the-top plotline featuring a terribly underused Matt Winston. Newton and Matt Long (of “Mad Men,” “The Deep End,” and “Jack & Bobby”) stood out in this episode as they tried to escape aborted dates together. Laura Prepon’s “Goodbye Boob” storyline would have been more effective had she been given a stronger scene partner than Steve Talley. Donald Faison wasn’t too great in the terribly unserious and generally unproductive “Ninja Vanish” segment, and I was considerably more impressed with Joy Bryant’s subtler, smoother take on the same kind of character. I’m still inclined to watch this show, but I certainly wouldn’t mind a bit more consistency in the quality of storylines.

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