My Time/Your Time (CBS) pilot preview: How I Date Your Mother

mytimeyourtime

Created and executive produced by Hilary Winston (Happy Endings, Community, My Name is Earl). Directed by Pamela Fryman (How I Met Your Mother, Just Shoot Me, Frasier). Also executive produced by Carter Bays & Craig Thomas (How I Met Your Mother, The Goodwin Games). For CBS, Sony Pictures Television, CBS Television Studios, Gifted and Talented Camp & Bays Thomas Prods. 49 pages.

Description: chronicles the relationship of Marla & Wade, a young couple as they begin dating long distance through Skype. One is in New York, the other in Los Angeles…

With Jane Levy (Suburgatory, Shameless US), Nicholas Braun (10 Things I Hate About You, The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Utkarsh Ambudkar (The Mindy Project), Izzie Steele, Langston Kerman

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How I Met Your Mother ended two years ago and CBS still haven’t found a new comedy which can appeal to millenials, a precious target for advertisers, the way the cult sitcom did. There was the How I Met Your Dad pilot attempt, which went directly to the trash can. The idea hasn’t been revisited since then, against all odds. And pretty much nothing else. My Time/Your Time is their next tryout and marks the return of HIMYM’s creators to CBS but as executive producers only. Creator Hilary Winston knows a thing or two about modern comedies; she was involved in Happy Endings & Community, not what we can call two ratting jugernauts but two beloved comedies nonetheless. Cherry on the cake, CBS hired Pamela Fryman to direct. She directed the vast majority of HIMYM episodes. Does My Time/Your Time have any chance to become the next best thing or at least something for CBS and for us?

Let me tell your first Marla, our heroine, is just the cutest. And Jane Levy seems to be the perfect choice. The character is described as a “young Maura Tierney type” and I couldn’t agree more. She has “short-term confidence and long-term insecurity”. The kind of girl you who often goes unnoticed but once you laid eyes on her, you can’t stop staring. I’m not totally sold on Wade, her colleague/Skype friend/soon-to-be boyfriend and maybe future husband. A bit too cocky for my taste. But he’s nice, and cute too. And funny. They are both. You know what I love the most about them? They are not cliché. They are not stereotyped. Marla & Wade are totally representative of their generation, hyperconnected but lost, unsure. Not really happy with their jobs, their love life, but they are no sadsacks.

Still, the pilot kinda made me both happy and sad. But mostly happy. It’s really a dramedy in fact, more than a straight comedy. It’s not edgy enough to be on cable, but maybe it’s not funny enough to be sandwiched between The Big Bang Theory and 2 Broke Girls. How I Met Your Mother evolved a lot through the years and became a dramedy though. Maybe it paved the way. And now CBS has rollercoaster comedy Mom too. Hope is not not lost for My Time/Your Time. It just won’t be that easy.

Remember ABC’s Manhattan Love Story? Cool concept, bad characters. My Time/Your Time is the contrary. So-so concept but great characters on paper. The fact that they can only communicate through Skype is a very modern idea but how long before the writers has no other option than reuniting them in the same city? Following every step of their relationship is interesting though, if it’s what’s intended. If they take their time. The booty calls. The first real date. The first kiss. The first fuck. The first real fight. All those firsts. And then the moving closer. The moving together… You have at least three seasons with all this. But right now, here where they are.

They date other people for quite some time but they can’t find the right one. They are almost 30 and they are starting to think they never will but then they meet through their work -they are both at the same company but not in the same coast- and something magical happens. They start to give each other’s advices for their next dates and they slowly fall in love. Of course. In the end of the pilot, they both know they have feelings for each others but they are not ready tell it yet and act on it. Well, Marla is not. Wade tried and failed miserably. Marla doesn’t even know it. He came to New York to see her. But that’s the moment when she finally had a good date, with a romantic kiss in the end, the way she always dreamt of (under the rain, with leaves falling around -yeah, she’s a romantic). It couldn’t be that easy! Let’s just hope it won’t be as complicated for Wade as it was for a certain Ted… Secondary characters are Marla and Wade’s respective bestfriends. Honestly, we don’t care about them and nothing is done so we feel otherwise. It’s not that important in the pilot, as long as the actors are good enough. But the writers will have to do something about it pretty quickly.

My Time/Your Time is yet another dramedy about millenials looking for love. Okay, it’s not original but it is something networks have a hard time to find, something that feels true and fresh and fun and melancholic… It’s appealing, honest. Maybe it’s too smooth, too nice, maybe we’ve seen too many Girls, You’re The Worst… to be impressed anymore. Maybe it’s not CBS enough. Not funny enough. Maybe it is doomed to fail. But damn, I think I want these characters to be on my screen every week. They’re relatable and that’s a precious and powerful thing.

4 comments

  1. forg says:

    Despite the polarizing finale, the HIMYM team does romcom so earnestly well so really excited with this project so I hope CBS picks this up!

  2. Samui says:

    I think the problem with Bays and Thomas is what you said in the preview. They are always “in the middle”. Not funny enough to be compared to Community,Broad City,Parks and Rec etc. and at the same time not edgy enough to be compared to Girls,You’re The Worst,Love,Master of None,etc. They are too often “in the middle”. HIMYM in the last few seasons had the same problem. And also,it seems they are really obsessed to write Nice Guys with unrequited love. First Ted (one of the worst characters ever,in my opinion),then,How I Met Your Dad had the Nicholas D’agosto character who felt something for Sally,but unrequited love again. And now,this one? They should stop to write always the same thing.

  3. Zach says:

    “maybe we’ve seen too many Girls, You’re The Worst… to be impressed anymore”

    I would like to say that I am in no way, shape or form impressed with Girls. I get that there are people that like it, but I can’t think of a more miserable pilot watching experience that I’ve endured.

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