06 September, 2007

Preview: "Men in Trees"

"Finding a good man in today's world isn't as difficult as some women think. They just have to watch out for the signs, and it's the job of Marin Frist (Anne Heche) as a relationship coach and best-selling author to help women to find the right men. She travels the U.S. to give women help about how to find the right guy, using her personal life as a model. Now that she has a fiancé, she just released her new book meant to help women find the right men for a great marriage. Before the wedding, she has one little conference in Alaska. On the plane, she discovers her love life isn't going that well at all as she finds out her fiancé has been cheating on her. She now has to forget everything she has learned about men and gain new knowledge about love and relationships." (TV.com)

I enjoyed this female skewed romantic dramedy, created by Jenny Bicks, but many hated it from the get-go and it remained 'on the bubble' all season, in danger of cancellation.

It was better than average and well written, but there were some annoying contrivances, like the raccoon getting in a locked cupboard in the pilot, for instance.

Episode 2 is better and if you don't like that then the show's not for you. It introduces the main relationships and issues for the series but again, why would an hair dryer do what it does in this episode?

Episode 3 about a charity auction has similar dodgy plotting. Both the A and B stories require someone paying much more money than they need to as dramatic romantic gestures but the lack of believability undermined the genuine drama there was.

While the plotting is dodgy at times the show has great characters, interesting relationships and witty dialogue.

It was interesting to see how a good idea for a one-off romantic comedy movie could be stretched to a full season and they didn't do too bad a job. In fact they earned themselves a surprise new season and a promotion to a better time slot. Rather than it being all about the main character and her journey, it became more of an ensemble and the original fresh characters kept enough people watching.

Men in Trees is a generally well-written undemanding relationship comedy-drama that was one of the better shows last season and it's worth catching the first three episodes at least for study if not for entertainment.

Jenny Bicks blog

Men in Trees
Living TV
Thursdays 9:00pm
(repeated Tuesdays 8:00pm)

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