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'Manhattan Love Story' recap: With this ring

Season 1 | Episode 10 | “Ex Factor” | Aired Jan 11, 2015

Manhattan Love Story has taken us on a somewhat predictable journey as Dana and Peter navigate the “he said, she said” discrepancies of promised love. As with any new relationship, they powered through puking, unveiled their weird idiosyncrasies, and provided moral support during awkward family celebrations. It was only a matter of time that a bomb had to drop in order for Dana and Peter to see how they truly feel about each other. And that bomb comes in the form of an ex-boyfriend.

Manhattan Love StoryIt all starts with a dollop of ice cream dripping down Dana’s favorite blouse. Peter offers one of his T-shirts as a substitute, and as Dana rifles through a lifetime of concert tees, she stops short when she stumbles upon a tiny, teal box. She hesitates for a moment before opening the box and gasping at the gorgeous engagement ring. Panic immediately sets in and she shoves the delicate object back into its hiding place.

Dana confides in Amy the next day. Amy takes a moment to celebrate her totally awesome matchmaking skills (from “Hello” to “I do” in three months!), unable to register the fact that Dana is melting down before her. We have a situation, you see. Dana has never told Peter that her ex-boyfriend proposed to her once upon a time, and she feels Peter deserves to know this bit of information before he starts popping important questions.

Dana takes Amy’s advice and decides to “slip it into conversation” the next day at lunch. Before she can casually mention it, David shares that Jan, the receptionist at the office, had a skydiving accident. Their dad will be lost without Jan. Peter suggests Amy fills in for a few days. David stares at his brother’s ludicrous suggestion. Amy is hired.

Peter and Amy leave to take a romantic stroll through Central Park. He gestures for her to sit on his favorite bench, which just so happens to be named after his grandparents. Suddenly, a flash mob begins dancing in front of them and I am reminded that I still need to check this off of my bucket list. Dana freaks and jumps up after the last jazz hand, babbling about how she doesn’t know if she can accept a proposal, and oh by the way, this proposal ain’t her first rodeo.

Peter looks dumbfounded and points to the adjacent bench. Say hello to the beaming woman with a man on one knee holding a huge rock in front of her. Whoopsie.

Dana confesses that she found a ring in his drawer. Peter explains that the ring was his grandmother’s and he will use it one day, but there are more pressing matters to discuss at the moment. Perhaps the story of a previous proposal?

His name is Colin. He’s a professor and Dana says that they laugh about it now. Peter is surprised that she still keeps up with her exes. Dana thinks it’s the mature thing to do. Doesn’t he ever wonder what his exes are up to?

Later that night, Dana tries to persuade Amy to agree with her line of thinking. Amy isn’t buying it. If exes are still friends after the breakup, it just means that one of them isn’t being honest and undoubtedly has feelings for the other. Dana reads a recent email from Colin to Amy and Amy picks it apart. He calls Dana “dearest” and uses the word “love” twice. He’s totally not over her. Dana agrees and decides she will exercise better boundaries.

Meanwhile, Peter meets up with his ex-girlfriend Val so he can have a mature conversation and maybe a little bit of closure. Val is married now, and is extremely proud that Peter is playing grown-up for once.

David and Chloe are also forced to play grown-ups. With Amy running the office, they have no time to slack off. She is practically perfect in every way. When she gives David a list of follow-up calls to make and steals a client from Chloe, the siblings take matters into their own hands. They bad mouth her to their dad. Amy calls them into her office (that she took from David) and listens as David and Chloe beg her to leave before everything runs too efficiently. She agrees, but not before she teaches them how to make unicorns in the froth of the lattes.

Over at his apartment, Peter thanks Dana for convincing him to make nice with his ex. Dana is proud of Peter and promises him more adult activities when he returns from his shower. Dana absentmindedly picks up Peter’s phone when a text comes through, and she is greeted with a spectacular set of boobs. Not knowing what to do, Dana confides in Amy again.

Amy: There’s not a lot you can do. In the last 48 hours, you’ve found a pair of boobs and an engagement ring, neither of which belong to you.

Peter talks to his brother. David thinks that it’s the universe rewarding him for being mature. Peter can’t decide. He could erase the boobs and never bring it up. But what if Dana saw the boobs? She would know he was keeping something from her. Being an adult is hard.

In the end, Peter and Dana both blurt out at the same time that they saw Val’s boobs. They agree to not keep secrets from each other and settle in for a movie night. When the doorbell rings, Peter gets up to answer it. You’ll never guess who it is.

Okay, it’s not Val’s boobs. It’s actually Colin. He waltzes into Dana’s apartment and embraces her for way too long. Dana hustles off to check the burning popcorn (the microwave popcorn button LIES) and Peter is left with Colin.

Peter: I’m Dana’s boyfriend.
Colin: Wonderful. I’m the love of her life.

And just like that, we’ve reached our first real conflict of this Manhattan Love Story. Is this the beginning of a love triangle? Will Peter fight for Dana? Is Colin a total d-bag? Stay tuned for Act III next week.

Love Notes

Peter: All the T-shirts have stories. Except Bublé at the Hollywood Bowl. It’s not mine.

Amy: Colin proposed to you? How dare you not tell me. We share everything. Even eyeliner, and the label is very specific at how that is a terrible idea.

David: I can’t believe the cow broke her leg.
Peter: That’s mean.
David: No. She landed on a cow.

Chloe: I’ve been thinking. It’s not fair that Amy is here. You’re my brother and I should support you.
David: What did she do?
Chloe: She stole my account and my father’s love.
David: Siblings power activate.

Dana: Did you go jogging?
Peter: Soccer moms jog. I ran.

Manhattan Love Story episodes are available on Hulu.

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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