Saturday, April 29, 2006

So what about "What About Brian"?

I was going to write a long post analyzing a show aimed directly at my demographic, "What About Brian." But the second and third episodes of the program were so disappointing I've decided it's not worth spending that much time on--plus people keep complaining that I need to write about something other than "American Idol." I'll just say that the overwhelming feeling I get when watching this show is,"This show should be a lot better." It's about a guy, Brian, whose friends are all either married or engaged. The only problem is that he's sort of in love with the woman, Marjorie, to whom is best friend is engaged (and she's sort of into him too.) There are other story lines. For one, Brian's sister is trying to get pregnant even though she's over 40--it's not an original story, and every time it comes on screen I pick up a newspaper. Then there's the guy who looks a lot like Rico from "Six Feet Under" if he wasn't Hispanic and his wife. She wants to sleep with other people to make their marriage more exciting, he's not that into it. Once again, not a particularly original story, and we all know how this kind of thing ends--and it's not well.(At the end of the most recent episode, she went ahead and had sex with a guy--in the back of a station wagon in a grocery store parking lot, leaving the 7 million viewers or so watching last Monday night to collectively throw up their hands in bafflement and disgust.

But the best example of why this show is lacking is a couple scenes from episode two. Early in the show, Marjorie has set up Brian with a woman she works with. They're double-dating and we learn that, well, the set-up is not too smart. As they're leaving, Marjorie tells Brian she got him a present--a copy of the "Spinal Tap" DVD. Brian's date says, "Oh, the medical thriller."

So Brian sleeps with his date, Lisa, anyway, then gets up in the morning and meets her roommate, also Lisa, who is in many ways much more appealing than the first Lisa. Brian manuevers to see second Lisa, or Lisa B, again, and ends up sleeping with her that evening. Of course, Lisa B would be perfect for him, but she says that it would be too awkward to date someone her roommate slept with. So she begins to leave, and Brian says, "Let's watch a movie." She says, "What movie?" and he answers, "Spinal Tap." Now, you know, if you've ever watched television before, that Lisa B is going to be a fan of "Spinal Tap"--one of the most quotable movies ever--so I'm waiting. Will she say, "Does it go to 11?" or "Is it one more louder?" or "What's wrong with being sexy?" No, she says, "I love that movie" somewhat wistfully.

If I can write the show better than the writers, as I'm watching it, maybe this show doesn't have much of a future.


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