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ABC hopes (against hope) that viewers will fall for Manhattan Love Story


Analeigh Tipton, Jake McDorman front cast of Manhattan Love Story. ABC photo
Premiering: Tuesday, Sept. 30th at 7:30 p.m. (central) on ABC
Starring: Analeigh Tipton, Jake McDorman, Nicolas Wright, Jade Catta-Pretta, Chloe Wepper, Kurt Fuller
Produced by: Peter Traugott, Jeff Lowell, Robin Schwarz, Rachel Kaplan, Jon Liebman

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The new ABC comedy Manhattan Love Story is its version of NBC’s new A to Z. Or maybe vice-versa.

In each coupling, boy meets girl, misunderstandings ensue and this will never work -- or maybe it will because these are network sitcoms.

There’s more narration in Manhattan Love Story, under the guise of uncovering the characters’ real thoughts about one another. For instance, when hound dog Peter (Jake McDorman) passes by women in the street, he instantly rates them on their bed-ability. Upon first seeing Dana (Analeigh Tipton), he thinks “Yes” and she thinks “Not bad.” You might be thinking, “Blecch.”

Dana is fresh in town from Atlanta. Her Manhattan contact and former college roommate is willful, manipulative Amy (Jade Catta-Pretta), who’s married to Peter’s bearded brother, David (Nicolas Wright). Peter, David and their half-sister, Chloe (Chloe Wepper), all work for their father, William (Kurt Fuller), who owns an engraving company and has branded his kids with the notion that whatever he wants from them he gets.

Set up on a blind date with Peter, the usually level-headed Dana arrives flustered after a series of mishaps. They fail to hit it off after he’s too smug and she’s too hiccupy when crying. But amends later are made because otherwise this might as well be called Manhattan Try Again Next Week with Someone Else Story.

A second episode made available for review finds Peter thinking, “Whoa, is she actually not wearing a bra?” She somehow fails to think in turn, “Whoa, Peter’s peter looks like it’s going commando.”

Half-sister Chloe, who’s a bit of fun as the show’s fifth wheel, later tells Peter, “You’re not going to like this, but I think you might be experiencing some feelings.”

She’s right. He doesn’t.

It’s hard to see this one sticking around for very long. The dialogue and interior monologues occasionally have some snap. But Manhattan Love Story mostly is pretty thin soup in a city known for its delis. Seconds are not recommended.

GRADE: C-minus