Undateable, on a pure first impression level, didn’t move my meter, as watching a bunch of guys learning how to score with the ladies, all within the confines of a sitcom, has a been there, done that feel. But how many original stories can one truly come up with? Writers and actors are just a few of the elements that can turn a series in the right direction, and one can never underestimate the elusive notion of chemistry.
Living an arrested development charged life is a seductive notion, and for 29-year-old Danny Burton (Chris D’Elia) is a likable womanizer who is still, at least in his opinion, living the life of Riley. His new roommate Justin (Brent Morin) is a bar owner who, like his friends Shelly (Ron Fuchs), Burski (Rick Glassman), and Brett (David Flynn), has a nonexistent dating life. With a new bar at his disposal, as well as newfound friends to share his love tactics, Danny’s dance card is definitely filled.
Executive produced by Scrubs mastermind Bill Lawrence, Undateable has a ton of promise. Danny isn’t just a one night stand kind of guy with a kind heart – he also has a solid and candid relationship with his sister (Biana Kajlich), a divorcee who needs some fun of her own. Although he jokes that his married friends are dead and buried, a part of Danny wants a committed life, and he also needs a new batch of buddies to carry him through bachelorhood.
Although D’Elia is expected to carry most of the jokes, Brent Morin also stands his ground as the socially awkward Justin. Since looks are usually deceiving, Justin isn’t as helpless as advertised. He may have a puppy dog crush on the bartender he employs and belt out corny pop tunes, but Justin isn’t a total lost cause. The pilot suggests that Justin, even sans the lack of female companionship, has more ducks in a row than Danny.
Since most of the actors come from a stand-up background, Undateable has a ton of one liners that easily hit their mark, but thankfully this sitcom isn’t just a contrived, forgettable joke fest. I’m hoping NBC and the audience give this show a chance, since each cast member of the show get their chance to shine in the pilot.
Based on the book Undateable: 311 Things Guys Do That Guarantee They Won’t Be Dating or Having Sex, this comedy may come off as a sitcom on how to get laid, but it sneaks in a few moments of resonance along the way. Plus, D’Elia and Morin have tons of chemistry, so maybe Undateable‘s true love story will center on these seemingly mismatched roommates. We’ll have to see how their second date goes.
In the video below, Morin and D’Elia talk about their passion for doing stand-up comedy:
Undateable premieres tonight on NBC (9 pm et/pt).