3 June 2006 | liquidcelluloid-1
"Love" spreads itself so thin trying to appeal to everybody that the final produce is a completely diluted mess
Network: UPN; Genre: Sitcom; Content Rating: TV-PG (for language and adult content); Perspective: Classic (star range: 1 - 4);
Seasons Reviewed: 1 season
To be honest, when I watch a TV show, I certainly don't sit there critiquing the acting, story logic and visual symbolism. What fun would that be? I get a feeling about what I'm watching, and from that feeling comes an effort to describe it and break the show down in ways that others may understand it. I say that because a show like "Love, In." is a train-wreck of such horror it cannot be described in listing of technical failings, but in the general feeling that it injects in you. A great show gives me an inspired, excited, mildly euphoric feeling. "Love, Inc." is a virtually unwatchable mess that sounds like nails on a chalkboard and the feeling: it's more like Morgellon's Disease.
Loosely plotted, played as loudly and broadly as possible and not the slightest bit funny, the characters of "Love" all work at a dating service where they help the romantically impaired find someone who will have them. Naturally, they can't heal their own hearts In other words, it is just about the most worthless job on the planet. They must have a day job. This can't pay the bills.
There is no relationship insight here. None of their advice or techniques seems particularly innovative and all of their clients are pathetic misfits with enough of a good heart so we will root for them in the end. "Love" blatantly carries out the TV mandate to put forth the idea that everybody should get together and those that don't are "lonely and miserable". I can't fault "Love" too much for its single-minded almost propaganda-like attitude toward bashing single people, most of TV does it and because single people aren't a politically protected minority group, nobody ever says a word.
But there is an attempt at audience manipulation going on here that is more insulting than the average sitcom. Holly Robinson Peete stars is the head of the business (down to Earth with her co-workers, but often succumbing to romantic flights of fancy on her own time) and the heart is Busey Phillips as the love-faithful believer. I'm going to give Phillips a pass here because she looks good as a brunette and all "Freaks and Geeks" alumni get a kind of diplomatic immunity for any future TV mis-step. It seems that Peete has staffed the business up with one eye on the quotas and another trying to make her co-workers as obnoxious as possible. From the greasy, goofy white guy (Vince Vieluf) to the loud, feisty Latina (Ion Overman, "The L Word"), nobody shuts up and all have been transparently designed to drag in the largest, multi-cultural demographic as possible. "Love" spreads itself so thin trying to appeal to everybody that the final produce is a completely diluted mess.
One good idea is the episode titles, which reference other TV shows: from "Arrested Development" to "Bossom Buddies". Since "Love, inc." isn't about TV at all, I'm making a leap to say that this too is a bit of audience manipulation to lure the TV fans into a show that isn't a fraction as clever as the use of the titles. "Love, Inc." isn't worth the time it takes to tell you that it isn't worth your time.
½ / 4