Is ABC's Manhattan Love Story Worthy of a Second Date?

Manhattan Love Story Premiere Recap

The would-be couple at the center of ABC’s Manhattan Love Story sure do spend a lot of time in their own heads. But what were you thinking as you watched the new rom-com on Tuesday night?

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Before you give us your take, here’s a brief refresher of the pilot: Dana (played by Crazy, Stupid, Love‘s Analeigh Tipton) is fresh to New York City, having moved from Atlanta to finally start her publishing career. (How is publishing still a rom-com trope?) Although it appears like she’s living rent-free with her college sorority sister Amy (Californication‘s Jade Catta-Preta), there are strings attached: Amy sets up her friend with her husband David’s (Accidentally on Purpose‘s Nicolas Wright) brother. Peter is played by charming Greek and Shameless alum Jake McDorman, but his character here? Kind of a typical bro-jerk. When his half-sister asks which girl he’s going out with as they browse Amy’s photos, he replies, “The ugly one.”

Meanwhile, Dana tries to look up Peter on Facebook, but accidentally types his name in as her status update. The technology woes continue as she calls him when she meant to text, and then texts him instead of Amy about how she just made a fool of herself.

The date finally rolls around, and we can hear all of their thoughts. Things gets off to a rocky start when Peter sees Dana examining her teeth and smelling herself outside the restaurant. (Her curly bob, for the record, looks fabulous throughout.) At dinner, he checks out her boobs, which she totally calls him on. “That was feisty,” he thinks. When she laughs at his joke, his mind goes to, “Totally going back to my place! When’s the last time I washed the sheets?” Her: “He totally thinks we’re going back to his place. I hate that he’s right.”

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But they don’t hit the sack together because the date abruptly ends in disaster and tears. When he makes fun of her list of New York things to do, the crappy day starts to catch up with Dana — her new coworkers hate her — and she begins crying. “Happy thoughts,” she thinks to herself. “Free wine. Pixar movies. First orgasm I didn’t give myself.” If you’re going to do continuous voice-over, more lines like that, please.

Eventually, Peter convinces Dana to go on another date, knocking two things off her list — take a pedicab, and No. 1, visit the Statue of Liberty, the sight of which brings Peter to tears. “Is he crying?” Dana thinks. “Great, just when I start to like him, turns out he’s gay.”

Nope, just experiencing real, human emotions finally. The supporting characters could definitely use some development, and the show’s voice-overs could grow tiresome if they’re not consistently zippy and clever, but Tipton and McDorman sure do make an appealing couple, don’t they?

What are your feelings on Manhattan Love Story’s thinky premiere? Grade it in our poll below, then sound off in the comments! 

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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46 Comments
  1. MattArmando says:

    Cliche ridden. Not as good as Selfie…

  2. Meg Wick says:

    Might be worth watching if the internal monologues calm down a bit.

  3. Tran says:

    My money’s on Manhattan Love Story as the first new show of the Fall TV season to get canceled. Hate to say this but I give it an F the same grade I give Selfie.

  4. Carol C says:

    Liked this more than I expected and much more than Selfie.

  5. april-ann says:

    Predictable, but cute. Really cute. Love that it’s set in NYC. Will be watching again.

  6. Alichat says:

    Her technology woes made no sense and were aggravating. Oh she’s from Atlanta……this technology stuff is way over her pretty little head……however will she push the buttons correctly.

    • Katherine215 says:

      I took it as more, she was having one of those days where nothing works properly. I’m tech savvy but sometimes I want to chuck my phone in the lake. I enjoyed it a lot, so it likely will be canceled immediately.

  7. Eliza says:

    I love Jake McDorman. I was a huge Greek fan. So, I’m always willing to watch the former cast in new projects (and hope for the best). But I am not too sure about this one. Will continue to watch and see.

  8. Lee says:

    This show is abysmal. I didn’t laugh once, but I did cringe numerous times. Simply horrific.

  9. Tom says:

    Seemed run of the mill and uninspired to me. Not horrible, just not fantastic. I’ll give it more chances but right now if it gets canceled I won’t miss it

  10. para says:

    what can i say? i love Jake McDorman

  11. Babybop says:

    It would be one thousand times better if the cliche caricature “married friends” weren’t in it. The uptight crazy wife and the sex crazed “why did I get married” husband. They ruined what was an otherwise funny episode. If the two leads weren’t so adorable, I wouldn’t watch again. But they are, so I will.

  12. Ram510 says:

    Nicholas and Jake were good. They should have them star in a comedy if (when) this doesn’t work out. However I did like this one enough to watch more.
    I’m confused though on why ABC though it’s be a good idea to pair the Rom-com comedies with Shield?

    • Stormy says:

      Maybe so that twenty something couples can watch them together effectively shutting her up. Then the female can go do her long drawn out nightly beauty regimen and he can relax and watch what he actually wants to see.

  13. Steve F. says:

    If they would take it easy on the internal monologing, then maybe this show will have a chance. And, hey, since this is called “Manhattan Love Story,” why not showcase the city more? After all, it’s her first time in New York!

  14. Joe Petitjean says:

    Overall i like it better then Selfie with Selfie i thought they were trying to hard.

  15. Liz says:

    I actually liked this one. I wasn’t laughing out loud, but it got some smiles out of me and it was a fun way to spend 30 minutes. I’ll be tuned in next week as well.

  16. adam says:

    I’ve seen a lot of really bad comedy sitcoms on TV over the years, most of them the whole episode is eh at best but somehow they stay on TV. This one had me saying eh for most of it, but their were a few moments were i thought Analeigh was either adorable or funny. As well as a few other chuckle worthy moments from some of the other characters. So, based on that i hope this show lasts.

  17. Fantastic says:

    Loved it, can’t wait for episode 2!

  18. Tim says:

    TOO much internal dialogue. It was a tired device even when Annie Hall used it 40 years ago.

  19. will says:

    To whomever it may concern, what were you thinking? Grade F.

  20. Shannon says:

    Still can’t believe these type of shows are what ABC decides to go with after canceling Happy Endings. That show was bar none better than any new “rom-com” show.

    • MiaB says:

      I too am still upset about them cancelling Happy Endings. ABC makes the worst decisions about what to cancel and what to keep. I try not to get too attached to anything on their channel.

  21. Mary says:

    MMM not really sure how I feel about it but I think I will give it another shot.

  22. MiaB says:

    I watched for 3 minutes. In that time they had a completely unfunny, uninteresting argument, went on a boat ride, he started tearing up which made her think, “Oh my God, he’s gay.” *Click* Can’t believe they canceled Trophy Wife for this crap.

  23. Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus. Manhattan Love Story is from Uranus.

  24. blackconvoy says:

    The only part I laughed at was when Peter made fun of Dana’s list. Mostly because I would have done the same thing.

  25. TV says:

    Loved Barry’s wave from the elevator. Very funny.

  26. Brendan says:

    I find the male lead annoying and chauvinistic with a few mildly redeeming moments at the end of episode. And while the female lead has cutesy adorkable moments, some of her inner monologue seems to be clearly written by a guy (checking out purses, oooh lillies, etc.). I found their thoughts mostly unneeded and cliched. (Oh my, how cute, they are both thinking the opposite of what the other person is saying, yippee yay). NEXT.

  27. It’s hard for me to get behind a female lead that makes so many stupid mistakes. A few here and there could be written off as quirky or be the cause of her bad day but the amount and the fact that they just kept taking hit after hit made me start to really dislike her. She decided to uproot her life and move to a whole new city and start a new career and they make her out to be some sort of ditzy girl who can’t stand up for herself or get a handle on her life. Making that kind of decision is courageous and I would have really loved to see her come across as a strong, confident woman who has taken charge of her life and is following her dreams.

    • chris says:

      So she didn’t stand up for her self with her colleagues when she went back to the office and did her work, and forced them to accept her? And simply by moving to NYC hasn’t she taken charge of her life and followed her dreams?

  28. Tamika says:

    Hopefully, ABC is still kicking itself for canceling Don’t trust the B and Happy Endings.

  29. herman1959 says:

    When I read the premise I knew it didn’t sound good so I didn’t watch. But OMG, according to most of the posts here it must have been REALLY awful. Thank you TVLINE, I will continue to trust my gut.

  30. G. says:

    I was totally turned off in the first 2 minutes … and then I just turned it off.
    Best move ever.

  31. I liked it. I thought it was cute, and while it wasn’t laugh out loud funny, it was entertaining enough for me to turn in next week. If I watch the pilot I’m at least in for 3-5 episodes. You have to give a show time to find its footing.

  32. Hannah says:

    Girls, if a man cries he must be gay! <3

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