Love Monkey: Pilot
Critics are calling this show a "male Sex and the City." I don't think that's really accurate though. Sure, there's sex in it, and it's set in New York City like that show, but I think it's more like Ed meets High Fidelity. Mostly Ed. I even expected to hear The Foo Fighters' "Next Year" kick in after the opening scene.
But that's a good thing. With just one episode, Love Monkey instantly skyrockets up my "Must See" list, and just could be the best new show of 2006.
Five things I learned from the Love Monkey pilot episode:
1. Great opening narration. It really sets things up, the characters, the plot and the tone of the show. (Not enough shows use first person narration anymore, and the ones that do are usually lame and overbearing.)
2. The casting is great. The cast has that "I've seen them before but don't know their names" vibe. And that's perfect for an ensemble show like this.
3. I couldn't keep up with all of the cool, funny, even profound lines that there are, about life and love and the way guys act.
4. I never saw that last twist involving Jake.
5. Jason Priestly has turned into Sean Astin.
I'm not sure if Cavanagh just plays himself in everything he's in or if he specifically looks for scripts that would be good for his personality and demeanor, but the Tom Farrell character is perfect for him. You like him instantly and you want him to succeed instantly. There aren't many stars that can do that in the first 15 minutes of a brand new show. (And while people are comparing this to Ed because in that show he also lost his mate and his great paying job all in the same day, I think it's the same because both Tom Farrell and Ed Stevens walk the streets in the same kind of clothes, drinking coffee, with a cool messenger bag strapped across their chest).
The music: as someone who worked in the music biz for several years, I can tell you that Love Monkey really does get the world down right, at least more right than any TV show I can think of. The way Tom Farrell acts, the places he goes, how he talks about music. Even the way the True Vinyl offices look. But if I do have one complaint about the Tom Farrell character, it's this: Dylan? Clapton? Zeppelin? The Sex Pistols? Could he maybe like someone who hit the scene after 1980? Gaby's right, he is a music snob. But not a good one. Even people who like great, classic rock, if they know what they're talking about, would tell you that Air Supply and Hanson are good.
But this Teddy Geiger kid. He has a "John Mayer's younger brother" thing going on (catchy but intelligent pop/rock with good lyrics), and his acting isn't bad either. Not sure if he'll be a recurring character, but this guy could be big (CBS is doing a promotion with Geiger's record label, and I know I'll be buying the CD - his and the inevitable Love Monkey soundtrack I'm sure we'll see).
Filming in New York City helps immensely. If they had filmed this on some lot in L.A., the whole look and vibe would be off. This show gets the single life right, the buddy stuff right, and the NYC music scene right too.
And where are they going with the best friend relationship between Tom and Bran? Will she really just stay his best friend and confidant? I think there's more than just a little bit of a hint that she likes him, and maybe even a little on his end. If there is something going to happen, let's hope it doesn't happen too quickly. The hot chick at his new job will probably be enough to put off any sparks between Tom and Bran.
So, there you go. If you liked Ed, and you're looking for a show that neatly balances the comedy and the drama, and throws in a buddy show and also the possibility of a funny workplace comedy, then Love Monkey is for you.