Romantically Challenged S01E01
There is a new show coming to ABC called Romantically Challenged staring Alyssa Milano, Josh Lawson, Kelly Stables and Kyle Bornheimer. This show is centered around these four characters, mainly how Rebecca (Milano) and Perry (Bornheimer) are trying to get back into the dating world. Rebecca plays a lawyer that is newly divorced (5 months) and has a teenage son, Justin (Israel Broussard), she goes through the challenges of her first post divorce date. Perry gets a date with a girl who takes him into some uncomfortable situations, which is where Darth Vader comes to the rescue. The episode was directed by the one and only James Burrows, his list of hit shows and success speaks for itself.
Mr. Burrows directorial style was different from other shows that I have seen filmed. During each scene he would walk away from the scene and not watch what was being acted. He paid extreme attention to the cadence of the lines being delivered and the reaction by us, the audience. Many times he would stop, head back to one of the actors and give them direction that would change the scene just enough to make it flow better and allow the audience reaction to be fully experienced. There were several instances where the actors were reminded to allow the audience laughter to die down before continuing the scene. For those of you out there that think when you are watching a comedy that they use a laugh track, you would be wrong. I have been in many studio audiences and we make a difference in what you see on screen and in the final product. Mr. Burrows had them change several scenes because it would better match the timing of the audience reaction.
We get to see three of the main sets in this first episode. One of the main sets is the cafe; many shows have a central place where the characters can meet and hang out at the beginning and ending of the show. This location is used to setup the story line for the show or to have a place for the characters to interact outside of their homes. The cafe is also a location where the writers can wrap up each episode. We also get to see Rebecca’s house. It has two stories of which we only see the living room and kitchen which are both on the first floor. Production wise these two rooms are located at opposite ends of the studio so simply walking from the kitchen to the living room requires an actor to run the length of the sound stage during a rolling reset. The other set is Perrys apartment where Doug (Lawson) is staying for free. We see the front room which includes a kitchen and outside is a small patio with a barbecue, there is a bedroom that we have not seen yet. All the set layouts seem to work well but are smaller than some other shows that I have seen, hopefully through the magic of the camera things will look much larger.
This show is very funny and worth programming on your DVR. Romantically Challenged rumored to be airing in mid April of 2010, be sure to catch it.