The Ex List
There's a lot to dine on here in the single-woman's fantasy story of finding Mr. Right at the direction of storefront psychic who tells her to revisit all of her old boyfriends to find the One, within a year or she's outta luck. Cast is uniformly good, particularly lead Elizabeth Reaser as Bella, Anne Bedian as the psychic, Rachel Boston as Bella's sister Daphne and Alex Breckenridge as friend Vivian.
Writing is peppy, very conversational and of-the-moment in its references and meter.
Premise, based on an Israeli series, feels fresh, as does the setting, in a fictional seaside community. The fairy tale-ish element in the premise makes the idyllic-hamlet backdrop work just fine, and helps explain why the femme characters are clad mostly in barely-there sun dresses and itsy-bitsy bikinis.
Dialogue is a tad breathless here and there, but it's nothing that can't be tapered back.
Characters are uniformly sex-obsessed and ultra vain, which could wear thin.
Reaser and Boston appear to have not eaten for at least five years.
**Once again, these are broad-strokes first impressions, not reviews or hit-or-miss declarations. At this time of year, pilots picked up for the fall are still very much works in progress.
Jay Mohr seems comfortable in the role of a recently divorced guy who runs his own house painting biz dealing with parenthood and dating-hood again.
Mohr's Gary and Paula Marshall's Allison are believeable as an ex-couple, in an opposites-attract sort of way. Reparte and chemistry between the two is pretty good out of the gate.
Moppets Ryan Malgarini and Laura Marano are pretty good as 14-year-old Tom and 11-year-old Louise. They don't sound like they've just stepped out of a cereal commercial.
Larry Miller. He's perfectly cast as the mealy-mouthed marriage counselor who's now engaged to ex-client Allison.
Characters are a little bit 2-D so far. That's why Miller's character seems an important element in the mix, providing pure comic relief a la Brad Garrett or Rainn Wilson.
Kyle Bornheimer (late of "Jericho"). He's adorable, and very natural playing the broad, slapsticky moments. Comedy about a guy who turns into a one-man wrecking machine when he gets around his girlfriend's parents -- a problem made more acute by the fact that she is expecting and they plan to get married.
Pilot is packed with broad slapsticky moments and slim on the character development. The parents, played by Nancy Lenehan and Kurtwood Smith, are more fully fleshed out as people than the leads in the pilot.
Can't help wondering where this show will go. So much of the pilot is devoted to Bornheimer's doofusy Sam dealing with a series of unfortunate events.