27 March 2014 | shkanaoy
Very pleasant surprise
I'm a Nick Hornby fan, loved the movie, and was shocked to see it come to the US and be made into a TV series. While I thought the source material was geographically re-locatable, I wasn't convinced that the characters would still resonate. Will, especially, is such a great British misanthropic womanizer, I felt sure that that they'd drop the ball with him.
I was really happy to find that my fears were unfounded.
This version of About A Boy retains the laughs and the poignancy of the original. While Hugh Grant was on career best form in the film (and the Badly Drawn Boy music was pitch perfect), David Walton's Will is a well-realized modern man-child with a heart of gold. Minnie Driver is excellent, although she's definitely less out there than Toni Collette's version, and you do get a sense that they may start a "will they/won't they" thing with Will and Fiona, which you always knew was off the table in the novel and movie.
The "boy", Benjamin Stockham, is good, although there are a couple of moments where he seems to strike the wrong notes. But the chemistry between him and Walton is excellent, and that's by far the most important component.
Whenever Al Madrigal and Annie Mumolo show up, they strike a different tone, reminiscent of the Paul Rudd/Leslie Mann combo in Knocked Up. Definitely not a bad thing, and it keeps it from getting too predictable.
They could get a huge amount of mileage out of this show, as Marcus grows up and starts becoming a man. Definitely fertile soil and after the promising start, I'd love to see what these characters get up to.