The fall season of television is about to start and some networks are releasing their pilots early to generate buzz. ABC did it with Selfie, and now NBC has done it with A to Z, starring Ben Feldman and Cristin Milioti.
So how’s the pilot? It’s charming, even if it at times evokes Milioti’s previous show, How I Met Your Mother. There’s a narrator, a mystery, a guy believing in destiny and love at first sight.
The show tells the story of the timed relationship between Andrew and Zelda. The narrator (Katey Sagal) offers an omniscient view, saying they will date for 8 months and change, and each episode will narrate a phase in their relationship. The pilot, for example, is titled “A is for Acquaintances”. Take a guess how the title for episode 2 starts.
The show leans heavily on the romance, as it should as it is its strong suit. It particularly follows well how modern dating works. Facebook, Twitter, texts, everything. Even better, you can actually see it’s Facebook and Twitter, not a fake “Facenotebook” or something shows sometime use. Sorry, it’s a pet peeve of mine.
The comedy doesn’t fare well at this point, though. Both leads have the obligatory best friend, and both friends seem annoying at this point. There’s also a Back to the Future joke that’s played way to far; the joke requires the trust of the audience, and it hasn’t earned it yet.
But the leads have chemistry, and with the weak crop of shows this fall, I can see myself following this show once it premieres October 2 on NBC.