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November 27, 2014

Love Monkey: Pilot

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 18th 2006 7:40AM

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. 

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Here we go

Considering the dirst person narration... that was a good catch, I wouldn't even notice the lack of it recently (but it sure makes everything more lively).

February 26 2006 at 2:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jessica

I disagree whole-heartedly with Show Link (#19). My husband is 28 and I am 31 and we both LOVED the show. Best show I've seen in... years!!!!! They have put it on hiatus, so everyone who agrees with me, please sign the petition to save "Love Monkey" and write the execs at CBS (aka Goliath). http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/savelovemonkey

February 23 2006 at 11:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nancy Heinemann

I enjoyed the pilot very much until the end when they thru in the homosexual twist with the buddy. Can't any of the networks provide a show without shoving this stuff down our throats.... Yuck! If that theme is continued I won't be watching.

January 31 2006 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sam Lo

The opening scene using "Shine" by Andy Stochansky was incredible!!! This guy is finally getting the recognition he deserves.

www.andystochansky.com

Sam

January 31 2006 at 9:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nip Tuck

This show will not cath with the late 20's and early 30's crowd. I just don't see it happening for "Ed in the City".

January 30 2006 at 9:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bec

I watched the season pilot a couple of weeks ago and thought the humor was ok but could have been better. It felt like I was watching 'Ed' ... you know the bowling ally lawyer? Anyway, I'll be keeping on top of it to see if it gets better. I found this site the other day that also talks about Love Monkey.

http://www.kangarootv.com/2006/01/23/love-monkey/

January 29 2006 at 8:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark Howell

I really liked this show. And that's a problem, I think, for the show's creators. You see, I'm 45, way past my hip years and yet I caught probably 90% of the show's pop culture references. Way too much stale boomer stuff--- Dylan, Starship etc. --- and hardly anything from the past decade. If the show wants to have any relevant cachet they're gonna need to mix in some current stuff, along the Train, Coldplay, Nickelback lines. My guess is the writer's on the show are probably in my demographic niche, late 30's-mid 40's, and just writing what they're familiar with.

One big plus on the show, outside of Tom Cavanaugh who I like alot, is Eric Begosian. I don't know where he's been the last fifteen years, since Talk Radio, but its great to see him back.

The downside is that the buddy scenes, Jason Priestley and the other dudes, don't work as well for me as the music biz stuff. Not very interesting so far, not original, and it just doesn't ring true. Music people, like actors and Wall Street types, are famously insular. It's a self-contained world. THe idea that an A&R type is gonna socially hang with a doctor, a business guy and whatever the other guy does is not one I buy into. Better to focus on the music side of the coin.

January 26 2006 at 10:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Sassone

Ben: you're right, that has been mentioned in a couple of reviews I've read.

January 25 2006 at 6:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ben woocher

I never realized how much I was a music snob (even after High Fidelity) unitl I caught this mistake. When Tom is doing his New York tour, one of the spots is the alley where Bob Dylan filmed his "Subterranian Homesick Blues" video. Any music snob knows this was filmed in the alley behind the hotel in LONDON where Dylan was staying during his '65 tour. It was filmed by D.A. Pennebaker, and that's why it opens the "Don't Look Back" film. I've read many reviews of the show and no one else caught this. Am I wrong? Please correct me if I am, so I'll stop shouting my mouth off.

January 25 2006 at 6:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chatty

um...I beg to differ...Air Supply is really NOT good and Hanson, while packaged, is much more talented. I'm going to keep watching this show! I love the music references and I don't think I'm too cool to watch.

But then that's just my opinion.....

January 24 2006 at 11:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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