Either you think that a dog spouting therapy-speak while he addresses a confessional-style camera is funny, or you don’t.
If you do — and I count myself in this camp — then the premiere of ABC’s Downward Dog is a sweetly funny little belly rub of a show that premiered Wednesday (9:30/8:30c). If you don’t, then the comedy is an odd project for Allison Tolman to choose as her first post-Fargo series-regular role.
Either way, we want to know what you thought of the debut. But first, a quick recap:
Tolman plays Nan, a Pittsburgh-based copywriter who works for a clothing company and who recently broke up with her boyfriend, Jason (Lucas Neff, Raising Hope). Though she misses him desperately, their split was amicable. And when he visits to pick up his motorcycle, they wind up having sex.
This irks Martin, Nan’s dog, who’s already feeling dejected thanks to her long work house. How do we know this? Because Martin spills all of his feelings to the camera, like he’s in The Office or Parks and Recreation. The pooch bemoans how he feels he’s “just getting zero help” in household tasks like monitoring the scary vacuum cleaner or the mentally unstable neighborhood cat, and he considers obedience class “couples’ therapy.”
So after Jason and Nan’s post-breakup hookup, Martin acts out, destroying a presentation she’d planned to pitch to her company’s big marketing guy. On the fly, she pulls together a bunch of photos of her and Martin and pitches the idea of unconditional love, instead.
“Every day, [Martin] still looks at me exactly the same way, like I am the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen. And I just thought, what if I could see myself the way my dog sees me?” she says. Though Nan’s douchey boss hates it, the big boss loves it, and the company decides to move forward with her “Look at how beautiful you are” campaign.
Nan gets the good news while she’s out for a walk with Martin, who’s just happy that she’s committing to their daily constitutionals rather than shooing him out the door to do his business in the sideyard.
“It’s so vulnerable to love somebody this much,” he later tells the camera. But he’s going to stick around, because “I literally can’t quit her.”
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the premiere? Grade the episode via the poll below, then hit the comments!