A To Z Falls Flat
by Rachelle Eldar (Entertainment Editor)
In my life, the list of disappointments I’ve experienced is starting to grow a little too long for my liking. Unfortunately, NBC’s new romantic comedy A to Z is now being wearily added to it.
The show premiered October 2nd, starring Ben Feldman and Cristin Milioti in the main roles. Feldman plays Andrew, a hopeless romantic who works at an Internet dating site, while Milioti is Zelda, a no-nonsense lawyer who was raised by a hippie mother and has no interest in dating.
We’re told right away that the two are going to date for eight months, three weeks, five days, and one hour. Each episode marks a letter in the alphabet (the first is called A for Acquaintances), hence the title of the show. Pretty interesting premise…if handled the right way.
Right off the bat, we can see the show has got this 500 days of Summer meets How I Met Your Mother vibe to it, with an omniscient narrator and timed premise to boot.
But after watching for a bit, it becomes clear that it’s actually a carbon copy of both. Andrew is a dead ringer for Ted Mosby; a charming dork obsessed with destiny and true love. Zelda is a combination of Summer and Robin: career driven, beautiful, quirky, scared of commitment, and seemingly uninterested in relationships (well, for at least the first ten minutes of pilot). Milioti even played the title role in HIMYM…. I mean, come on, people.
The characters, sadly, just fall flat. The side characters especially are mere tropes, caricatures of people. Andrew’s friend is your typical misogynistic “bro”; while Zelda’s friend Stephie’s ONLY characterization is that she “likes whatever her boyfriends like”.
Cristin Milioti is a wonderful actress and a breath of fresh air, as she proved in Once and HIMYM. But this role honestly does nothing but restrict and reduce her, even if she does have decent chemistry with Ben Feldman.
Overall…I was honestly expecting more from A to Z. Hopefully, the writers find their footing and the show comes into its own, instead of ripping off other romantic comedies…yet somehow I’m not sure we can expect too much.