MAD LOVE Series Premiere Review

Mad Love CBS

Photo Credit : CBS

You would be forgiven if you tuned in to CBS’s new sitcom “Mad Love” and thought you were watching an alternate cast of “How I Met Your Mother.”


You would be forgiven if you tuned in to CBS’s new sitcom “Mad Love” and thought you were watching an alternate cast of “How I Met Your Mother.”  After all, Jason Biggs, best known for his role in the “American Pie” films, plays Ben and looks a smidgeon like Josh Radnor as Ted on HIMYM, especially if you aren’t paying close attention.  Then, there’s the fact that Sarah Chalke (“Scrubs”) has actually put in some time on “Mother” and now plays opposite Biggs as Kate.  Throw in Tyler Labine (formerly of “Sons of Tuscon” and “Reaper”) who plays Ben’s best friend Larry and who narrates the tale a la the storyteller (Bob Saget) on “Mother” and the similarities start piling up faster.  Judy Greer rounds out the cast as Kate’s best friend Connie, who discovers that she and Larry have a relationship built on mutual loathing.

Mad Love CBS

Photo Credit : CBS

The similarities to HIMYM generally end there, as the premise really focuses on two people falling in love quickly, rather than a long search for love.  In fact, there’s nothing new here, and the story is simple:  boy meets girl on top of Empire State Building, they fall in love, there are predictable misunderstandings which block the path of their true love, and by episode end we know they are meant to be.

The co-stars Greer and Labine are far more entertaining as the best friends who are brought together and have an immediate dislike of each other.  There are hints that the dynamic of their relationship could change over time, and given that the characters who hate each other the most tend to end up together in Sitcomland, the destinies for these characters doesn’t seem to difficult to predict.

While there are a few laughs, and Biggs and Chalke do make a cute couple, there really isn’t anything here in the pilot that makes you want to come back for more – the two pretty people are in love, and it’s adorable…why do I care, though?  Given the slew of relationship-based sitcoms on TV right now, what makes this one stand out from the crowd?  While it is smart and charming, it is far from hilarious, and for people who want a feel-good show, it may be a perfect fit.  For anyone else, it isn’t fresh or clever enough and has too much sentimentality to attract a large audience.

All four of these actors are great, and they even have some good chemistry together, but somehow the formula just feels off.  Labine and Greer should be headlining, though I know they each have had some difficulties being successful as the leads on shows in the past.  Chalke and Biggs are sweet and cute, but lack fireworks or romantic tension.  With no real conflict or obstacles to overcome, it just feels like “Mad Love” is too easy and too boring.

What do you think?  Is “Mad Love” funny and fresh enough to keep you watching, or is it just another romantic sitcom in a very crowded field?

“Mad Love” premieres on CBS on Monday February 14 at 8:30 PM.