Tonight, you can watch NBC’s latest rom-com, A to Z. That is, if you haven’t already heard the hype and checked it out prior to now, so that you already know about the ‘first meeting’ chemistry of Cristin Milioti and Ben Feldman, both who have strong theatrical backgrounds, as Zelda and Andrew. Written by Ben Queen, produced by Parks & Rec.’s Rashida Jones, and narrated by Katey Sagal, the show is straightforward in its claim that it will show us the eight-month-plus relationship of Andrew and Zelda. And it all starts with Zelda walking into the headquarters of the online dating service where Andrew works to complain- and get some money back.
Feldman and Milioti are clean-cut and cute enough to make us root for them, and we get the (500) Days of Summer meets How I Met Your Mother. Sure, we’ll see them date, fight, work it out, stalk off… but will they stay together? Twitter already has several sets of guesses, but part of the fun is in the not knowing because of the Scully-and-Mulder-like debate between the two. [Honestly, Henry Zebrowski’s Stu, Andrew’s coworker and roommate, steals just about every scene he’s in, like a cross between Seth Rogen and Zach Galifianakis, dealing with Andrew’s straight man.]
Andrew’s parents were romantics and ‘proved’ love; Zelda’s mother was all about ‘love’ and shared it with every man she could (in their commune?) Their positions present like faith versus doubt in terms of destiny versus …randomness, but it’s really about how their life experiences have shaped their personalities, their expectations about relationships. So what happens when that duality ends up in a relationship? What happens when real love is expected on one side, and absolute disaster is expected on the other?
Queen’s creation is funny, and it makes us want to believe in the happy-ever-after, even if it doesn’t always work out the way we want it to. But isn’t it more fun to believe and hope and expect than to sit around and not believe?
When it comes to A to Z, I’m a believer.