About a Boy: Will You Hang With It Again?

about-a-boy-pilotWithin five minutes of meeting him, here’s what we know about Will Freeman: He loves the ladies (and the ladies love him). He has an aversion to all things kid-related. And he’s also a big fat liar.

It’s not until later in About a Boy — NBC’s new comedy that made an early debut Saturday — that we learn our protagonist actually has a soft side.

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The series — based on a best-selling novel by Nick Hornby and the 2002 film of the same name — zeroes in on Will (New Girl’s David Walton), who once wrote a hit Christmas song and is now living the dream as a financially stable bachelor.

Just how far will the Casanova go to impress a lady? When he meets Dakota — a beautiful, cello-playing single mom of two — he joins her at a single parents group meeting and concocts a story about his own (non-existent) son that would rival even Barney Stinson’s best lies. (It involves the phrase “animal sacrifices.” He really sells it.)

Enter Fiona (Grosse Pointe Blank’s Minnie Driver), Will’s uptight new neighbor, and her 11-year-old son, Marcus (1600 Penn’s Benjamin Stockham), who is equal parts nerdy, lovable and the perfect way for Will to keep pretending he’s got a son of his own.

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Naturally, Will’s cover is blown before too long, and his plan to woo Dakota via single parenthood crashes and burns. But, in an uncharacteristic turn of events, it’s his bond with Marcus that Will cares about most, and he repairs the friendship with an appearance at Marcus’ school talent show that a) rocks the house and b) finally shuts up those awful school bullies. (Who knew a One Direction song would ever get me teary-eyed?)

Viewers will hardly have to wait for another installment of the series: About a Boy will make its regular time-slot debut on Feb. 25 at 9/8c. With a genuinely funny script and convincing chemistry between its two leads, perhaps the comedy won’t have to move out anytime soon.

That’s what we think — now it’s your turn. Did you enjoy the Peacock Network’s newest comedy? Grade About a Boy via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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53 Comments
  1. Amanda says:

    What happened to it being commercial free?

  2. Hmmm says:

    David Walton. That’s it. That’s all

  3. Diz says:

    It was laugh out loud funny. I loved it and hope it lasts!

  4. Sean says:

    I give it a B. I didn’t laugh that much, but I will liked the characters. I will definitely be watching on tuesdays.

  5. Tran 2.0 says:

    About a Boy is destined to be a breakout hit for NBC and I give credit to Jason Katims for having yet another groundbreaking series just like the success he has with FNL and Parenthood. I give it an A. :-)

  6. Mike R. says:

    I enjoyed it, it wasn’t laugh out loud funny, but it had a lot of heart, and that just might make me stick around. I love shows with heart, hey may be the only reason in still watching HIMYM.

  7. Scott says:

    The show is way too unrealistic. If I tried to get friendly with an 11 year boy here I’d be called a pedophile.

    • B says:

      Well if you use phrases like “get friendly with” then yeah. It’s all about how you carry yourself and act in the situation. Just like middle school teacher who is bound to befriend their students. A level of professionalism is required.

      • Scott says:

        We’re not talking a professional situation in the show. All I know is that if the boy next door ran into my place to hide the police would be on the doorstep within minutes. Maybe we have an excessive level of parental panic here, but single males DO NOT under any circumstances speak to children. Even ones they know.

        • Esaul says:

          There’s a fine line between reality and television. Nothing’s ever gonna be 100% accurate on screen. Hell despite the amount of research the L&O writers did, they weren’t even accurate on half the stuff they did (random example that tries to be accurate).

        • Ray says:

          And that, right there, is sad, insane, and ridiculously unfair.

          • Alan Thornton says:

            At least that wasn’t the idea depicted (and therefore normalized) in the show. Instead other sexist stereotypes were enforced like the single mother being uptight, nagging, and totally inept at raising a boy, while the loveable male lead normalizes lying for sex and sneering at veganism to uphold his “manhood.”

        • JJM says:

          “but single males DO NOT under any circumstances speak to children” – Sexism much?

        • sara says:

          What?! So my single male bff whom I have known for over 15 years cannot talk to my daughter? Are you fricken nuts?!

          • Patrick says:

            That isn’t similar. Imagine a single male in his 30s, who is a complete stranger to you, moves in next door to you and becomes besties with you child.

            Here, it is ameliorated somewhat by the immediate knowledge that the male is a total womanizer with no homosexual tendencies, at all. Him chasing a half naked woman out of his house, while half naked himself, to get her number, clearly establishes that he likes women.

          • S. says:

            It’s offensive to assume that if the neighbor was gay, it indicates he might be interested in little boys. Gay doesn’t equal pedopile. Seeming to be into women shouldn’t make a guy less suspicious for their connection to children they don’t know. Jerry Sandusky is married.

  8. Aeol says:

    I didn’t mind it. It was cute. I’d watch it again.

  9. MP says:

    I liked it and thought it was charming. I’ll definitely watch a few episodes to see where they take it.

  10. CBWBDK1 says:

    I loved it!! Finally a new comedy i want to watch!

  11. Anna says:

    I was a little disappointed by it. It didn’t live up to the expectations I had because of the movie. It felt rushed, like they tried to squeeze a 90minute movie into 20 minutes of comedy (which they kind of did). It’s not a good sign if I don’t even like the main character after the pilot… Idk, something was missing. I hope it gets better, because I think the kid is cute and the show has potential…

  12. Kinga says:

    I really like the book and I LOVE the film, it’s one of my favourites. I was skeptical about the tv series but I really enjoyed it and I can’t wait to see the next episode since most of the known plot was used in the pilot.

  13. Eli says:

    Loved it, which means it’s bound to get cancelled in 5 episodes… :(

  14. Badpenny says:

    Too cliche’ for me: the controlling “hippie” mom, the too sweet kid, the rule-breaker neighbor, and then everyone loving the kid just because of a soundtrack and some smoke? Plus the show is coming on opposite New Girl, so I would rather watch that zaniness then this cliche’.

  15. Anna says:

    I liked it. It did feel a little rushed to make us appreciate the man/boy bonding, but I will definitely be tuning back in. It has great potential with the cast and Katims. Hope it stays around a while.

  16. Ava says:

    Loved it! Minnie Driver was great casting.

  17. leo21 says:

    Only a B. They’ve softened the material up a bit too much and need to be a little more dark.

    • Patrick says:

      They will build up to the Mom’s breakdown. In the movie that was very heavy stuff. Too heavy for a pilot on a struggling network. That is something that will be parceled out over the first season. The kid alluded to it, but that is too much to share. In the movie we found out about it in a voice over, which the show is wisely avoiding.

  18. Lola says:

    it was like watching the 2 hour film condensed into a 22 minute sitcom. hopefully it’ll get better.

  19. hipster says:

    Cute and endearing enough show. David Walton is great so far in this man-boy role.

  20. rowan77 says:

    I felt very let down. I was looking forward to this because David Walton is always so much fun to watch, I like Minnie Driver and I always enjoy Jason Katims work, but I thought it was incredibly expositional and choppy. Walton’s character accepted the kid always being at his house way too easily for someone who is really turned off by kids. Even though the chemistry is there, between the two actors, there was no development of the relationship. They went from zero to sixty far too quickly, so by the time we got to the talent show scenes, I already emotionally checked out.

    It just felt super rushed too early. Not sure if I’ll give it another look or not.

    • S. says:

      Well it is a pilot, but also they seem to’ve taken the plot of the movie and crammed it into 22 minutes. It’s gonna go by like lightning. Personally, I was glad I didn’t have to listen to them sing “Killing Me Softly.”

      • rowan77 says:

        I’ve seen many pilots that aren’t as expositional or that runs thought important moments so quickly just to get to hijinx as this one. There was no need to run us through being a presumptuous kid who keeps showing up to welcome visitor who becomes buddies in 30 seconds. That was just hamfisted – and wasn’t very Katims-like in the rush. They could have done much better is all I’m saying.

  21. rebecca says:

    it reminds me of Bent. The show David Walton & Amanda Peet had on NBC. Loved that show, so I’ll most likely give this a shot.

  22. Name That Tune says:

    I enjoyed this show and will watch it again. Most new comedies are quite stupid, but this was not.

  23. Joey says:

    I like it, it was good and David did good in first episode. Missed his old show Bent. Looking forward to watching more episodes of show.

  24. Tina B. says:

    I love this show, loved the main actor in Bent, miss it so much, and I adore the boy!

  25. TW says:

    I liked it. I know it is supposed to be based on the movie, but if you are at all a fan of Jason Katims work, you know his television adaptations are generally not exactly like the movie versions. I hated the movie version of Parenthood and almost let that keep me from watching the TV version. Glad I didn’t because Parenthood is one of my favorites. Hope it sticks around.

  26. erich says:

    I liked it, didn’t love it. I had a couple adult friends when I was a kid and I try to talk to my nieces and nephews but I have problems connecting to them due to our age differences not because it’s inappropriate. I love the fact that it was shot in San Francisco and I hope it continues. One of my gripes about Parenthood is that it in no way portrays a realistic picture of Berkeley. No one I have ever known has referred to BART as The BART.

  27. Ally Oop says:

    Grrr. I’m mad because last night I went to my DVR to watch it but when I clicked on it there was golf on for about 15 minutes and then a “we now join are regular scheduled program in progress” announcement and half the episode was gone. Really?! For a freakin’ premiere episode it gets half preempted. I was in Canada though–did anyone else here have the same problem?

  28. RP says:

    Minnie Driver seems miscast to me. I had a hard time seeing her as the character she was trying to portray, it just didn’t “fit” for me.

  29. Mr. Zambotti says:

    They played the pilot tonight instead of playing episode 2 which is what should be playing. How does NBC mess that up?