Last spring, NBC’s About a Boy captivated fans with its charming take on a different type of modern family by introducing viewers to Will (David Walton), a hot, single, hot, successful, hot, one-hit-wonder songwriter living a charmed life free of responsibility; Fiona (Minnie Driver), an earthy, overprotective mother; and her quirky, 11-year-old son, Marcus (Benjamin Stockham), who move in next door. In just 13 episodes, the three formed an atypical—yet heartwarming—relationship. (You might say they had us at “cello.”) Happily, the boy is back—season 2 premieres October 14—but the question fans are surely asking after the season 1 finale that had Will following the love of his life to New York City is, “Is Will?”
Grab a slab of ribs and let’s take a look back at parts of the journey that took us from “cello” to “goodbye.”
Will gets off on the wrong foot with Fiona when he uses Marcus as his “son” to convince a hot, single cellist that’s he’s a single dad so he can get her into bed. But before that, there’s white boxer-briefs involved.
Fiona immediately develops a distaste for Will (maybe it was the black socks—or perhaps the parts of him that were “flopping about?”) and lays down the law, only to have her son sell her out.
Will and Marcus quickly strike a deal: Marcus will agree to pose as Will’s “son” to help him get women, and Will will supply Marcus with an endless supply of ribs and soda (which Marcus is forbidden to eat), as well as allow Marcus to hang out with him occasionally.
Though Will is wealthy from writing a successful Christmas song eight years ago (“Runaway Sleigh”), he hasn’t written another song since, and spends his days doing a whole lot of nothing. After Fiona gets a job, Marcus spends all of his free time doing a whole lot of nothing over at Will’s, popping in and out through the dumbwaiter door that connects their houses.
When Marcus has an after-school accident (think kitchen knife inserted into foot), Will rushes him to the ER, where he meets Dr. Sam (Adrianne Palicki), his “perfect girl” who ends up being the love of his life, and someone this playboy can actually see a forever with.
.. he ends up proving himself to be a bit of a deadbeat dad who not only doesn’t know how to connect with his son, but who once again leaves him in a time of need without saying goodbye. Will, whose feelings for Marcus are deeper than mere friendship by this point, decides to build him a treehouse.
And they build it. And it’s awesome. (But would be even more awesome if it had a secret rib escape hatch where Marcus could toss his contraband ribs when his mother was around.)
Then Dr. Sam drops a bombshell. Seems she got a great job at a great hospital in NYC and is moving. Will is torn, and while he doesn’t want to leave Marcus (and even Fiona, whom he’s grown oddly fond of in a platonic way—which has become a mutual feeling) or his best friend, Andy (who is Will’s wingman and keeps him in line, even though he’s a father of three and has a wife who has a love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with Will), he’s in love with Dr. Sam and can’t imagine life without her. Awww.
Making the hardest decision of his life—and breaking Marcus’ heart in the process—Will decides to leave San Francisco and follow Sam to New York, but not until performing one last time with his now-defunct band, Sriracha … and a guest ukulele player (who also plays a mean tambourine).
Watching Will and his mother singing their stripped-down version of “What Makes You Beautiful” (iTunes, please), Marcus realizes how important Will is to him and how much he wants him to be happy. Season 1 closes with Will in New York and Marcus back in the treehouse, both having accepted their new long-distance relationship—which still includes ribs. And an escape hatch. Because best friends look out for each other, no matter the distance.
Find out if Will returns on the season 2 premiere of About a Boy on Tuesday, October 14, at 9:30/8:30C on NBC. And make sure to check back here all season for recaps after each show!