I was speaking to a friend this week about all the new shows this fall and she was surprised to hear that I didn’t like Better With You. She and I normally agree on TV (especially comedies) so I decided to give it a second shot and I think I’ve figured out what bothers me.
1) The scenes are two short. It feels like they’re going for the easy laugh. I get that the point is to show the different between the three couples, but for me it just feels like they’re jumping from part to part too quickly (like the Harry Potter movies).
2) There is no character that is really grounded that we can relate to. In Big Bang Theory there’s Leonard (and you might argue Penny), in Friends there’s Ross (and maybe Rachel), in How I Met Your Mother there’s Ted…but it feels like Ben and Maddie are supposed to be the ones we can most relate to but the truth is they’re just as out there. (Not to say the grounded couple is the one that most people enjoy the most, but it’s sort of the normal within the crazy.)
3) I’m missing the character development for the majority of characters. Think of this week’s Cougar Town. Jules is dealing with empty nest syndrome because Travis has gone to college. By the end of the episode, the father’s been told to grow up, Jules has been reassured that she will have someone with her, Travis calls on his mom for help, and Jules’s boyfriend opens up a little more (he’s reserved because his wife walked out on him). That element of the show is missing for me. The characters feel like jokes rather than well rounded.
Not that there’s nothing good about the show, but it isn’t anything special. I will say that episode 3 was the strongest episode yet and headed in the right direction.