True Confessions of a Television Addict

 

How I like to sit at my desk for maximum writing efficiency.

 

Forgive me blogfather, for I have sinned. On Tuesday I watched a secret episode of Top Chef.  I have seen three episodes of the new Joan Rivers reality show. Yesterday I watched Outsourced and Jersey Shore, and wrote about neither. And I wrote about camera angles–CAMERA ANGLES–on Grey’s Anatomy.

As penance for my television sins, I recently engaged in mental self-flagellation and watched one episode of the new CBS sitcom Mad Love. Fifteen minutes in, and I should have been canonized for my commitment to the mediocre television show. I am the Mother Teresa of the television world, praising the good and lifting the ratings of the poor. Television, I am a martyr for my love for you (okay, I stole that line from Jack White).

Here’s the skinny:

 

Lily, Robin, Ted, bearded Marshall

 

Ha! Fooled you with that caption, didn’t I? Well, it’s no joke. As soon as Mad Love‘s lovestruck protagonist made the patented Ted Mosby molested puppy face from How I Met Your Mother, comparisons between the shows were inevitable. Aside from some slight plot variances, Mad Love is How I Met You Mother Redux, the endless Francis Ford Coppola-esque butchering of a classic. Not that I really consider How I Met Your Mother to be a classic, but that’s another gripe for a rainy day.

Redux Ted (I honestly can’t remember these forgettable characters’ names) is the flawed clone of Original Ted that needs to spend a little more time in the character development incubator. He’s the Cubert to Original Ted’s Professor Farnsworth (um, how excited are we for the rest of season 6?!) The similarities between these two needy characters on almost identically premised CBS sitcoms is positively Freudian, though I can’t quite tell which of Original Ted’s repressed desires are brought to light in Redux Ted. Yeah, went there.

Redux Lily and Redux Robin are again tedious female characters on a show where the male protagonists are the real focus. They’re not that interesting, so let’s skip to Redux Marshall. Physically, Redux Marshall resembles Original Marshall, but psychologically, he’s more of a Redux Barney with a beard. If Original Marshall and Original Barney had some sort of unholy union resulting in a scientifically engineered, doubly-spermed test tube baby, this character would be it. I think his name is Larry, and he plays the matchmaker for Redux Ted. He narrates Mad Love with a saccharine voice-over detailing the rescued princess fantasy and the magical nature of true love. Ew, gross.

So here’s my inevitable question: CBS, what the fuck are you thinking? This show is a complete rip-off of your own inexplicably and wildly successful show How I Met Your Mother. Are you thinking maybe lightning will strike twice here? NBC has FOUR ensemble comedies on Thursday nights, three of which are amazing, and all of which are incredibly different. Jesus Christ, CBS, DID YOU THINK I WOULDN’T NOTICE? Did you think to yourselves, “Oh damn, girlfriend’s gonna be so busy writing about Jersey Shore and those god-awful ABC doctor soaps that we can totally get away with this. She’ll never even see it.”

Well, guess what CBS? You’re busted! This show is an incredibly shitty replica of an already fairly average show, and it’s seriously got nothing going for it. Even if I do some sleuthing and discover that the head writer is a disabled gay little person, I’ll never watch Mad Love again. You know, I’m starting to think this could be a recurring feature. Television Martyrdom: Another Foray into Middle America.

Thank blog for NBC, Gossip Girl, and my doctor melodramas. Stay tuned!

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