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'Manhattan Love Story' recap: Say it's carol singers

Season 1 | Episode 5 | “Sex Actually” | Aired Dec 4, 2014

You’re not going crazy. This is a new Manhattan Love Story recap. Yes, ABC canceled it weeks ago, but unaired episodes are now available on Hulu. This makes me happy. I don’t care that I’m in the minority. Many felt Peter and Dana’s inner dialogue was annoying. I found it funny. Others thought their relationship was ridiculously unrealistic. I found it endearing. No one watched the show. I found that odd.

I like my sitcom characters to meet, flirt, woo, and take a fun, wacky journey to find that perfect balance. Instead of holding a gun over his head, I prefer my male lead to hold a boombox while “In Your Eyes” fills the space around him. Instead of a negative rant, I prefer a declaration of love that produces sobs mixed with warm fuzzies.

I’m a sucker for a good romance, and I wish ABC had given Manhattan Love Story a little more time to find its footing, especially since Jake McDorman and Analeigh Tipton have such natural chemistry. I refuse to think the world is so cynical that brooding zombies and CIA agents can’t live in network harmony with a lovey-dovey couple. With the handful of episodes left, I will continue to root for Peter and Dana.

This is especially true when the writers work Love Actually into the story. SHE’S THE ONE, PETER! (Make sure to hold up your pointy finger in the “No. 1” position when you read that sentence.)

Manhattan Love StoryI’m getting ahead of myself. Let me back up a bit. A flustered Dana arrives at Peter’s apartment for a night out. She thinks the universe is conspiring against them and is convinced that if they don’t have sex before their date, they will surely die. Peter is halfway unbuttoned before she can finish the sentence. Dana assures him that their first time doesn’t have to be romantic like Love Actually. Peter is totally on board. Who would want a lame move from Love Actually?

Try everyone in my book club, my entire Pi Phi pledge class, and each female in the last three generations of my family. Dana agrees with me.

Dana: If you could film what’s going on in my heart, it would be Love Actually.
Peter: That sounds like a medical show. Besides, a guy hits on his best friend’s wife and everyone thinks it’s okay because he wrote it down on some cards?

Dana stiffens. Peter thinks they were engaging in playful banter, but he soon (wisely) senses that he should proceed with caution. Dana wonders why he would make fun of her favorite romantic movie right before sex. Peter offers a pitiful apology and leans in to get the party restarted.

Dana: I didn’t make fun of you for your comic books.
Peter [serious face]: Graphic novels.

Peter pulls back when Dana laughs. The mood is beyond gone. Cause of death? Colin Firth learning Portuguese and a green, graphic alien traveling through the galaxy as a guardian.

David and Chloe find out that Peter’s date didn’t go so well, even though he’s a self-proclaimed dating Jedi. David takes Peter’s phone, texts an apology, and invites Dana over to watch Love Actually. Peter pretends to be irritated with David, but he knows this is his only option. It’s time to take a delightful romp through London, where Hugh Grant is the prime minister. Cheerio!

During the movie, Peter says all the right things, thanks to his extensive Wikipedia research. Dana is happy they are back on track. Both are eager to leave David and Amy’s house, especially since the two have launched into an argument about how generic ice cream does not pair well with a triple chocolate cake that is so good, it will change lives.

As they rush out of the house to finish what they started the previous night, Dana thanks Peter for watching the movie. He jokes about the moment (a little too soon) and somehow that escalates into Peter and Dana arguing about David and Amy’s ice cream fight. Dana circles back to her original theory: the universe is against them. They always end up in this awkward place. Maybe it’s not meant to be. Peter nods and gets in a cab, leaving Dana on the street.

The next day, Peter tells Chloe that he and Dana aren’t going to work out. Chloe suggests he use the force. When he doesn’t laugh, she tosses some major wisdom.

Chloe: You guys are self sabotaging. You let the small things blow up so you can avoid the larger issue. This isn’t about sex. It’s about commitment. You’re looking for excuse to not take the next step. Once you do, there might be no coming back.

Peter considers this theory for a moment before a slow smile creeps across his face. He is about to achieve Jedi Master status. Do or do not. There is no try.

Peter arrives at Dana’s office and notices her in a conference room through a glass door. He holds up a stack of cue cards (just like the movie) and flips through a solid apology, ending with a rather nagging question.

Manhattan Love Story

And that, my friends, is how you write a romantic chapter in a Manhattan Love Story.

Love Notes

Peter: We started talking about Love Actually and she got offended.
David: Love Actually is brilliant. It’s Ocean’s 11, but they are stealing each other’s hearts.

Peter still holding a sign: I can’t talk. My sister said if I open my stupid mouth, I will ruin everything.

Dana to her co-workers: I’m going home sex. I mean six. I’m going home sick.

Manhattan Love Story airs Tuesdays at 8:30/7:30C on ABC.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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