Until The Wedding (ABC) pilot preview: Not worth a longtime commitment

SERIES TITLE: Until The Wedding
NETWORK: ABC
GENRE: Soap Drama

LOGLINE: The story of how one couple’s decision to get married can affect everyone in their lives. The show explores the intimate relationships of a group of friends and family as they are forced to reckon with their own romantic lives and come to terms with the realities of love and marriage.

Pilot Cast: Olivia Thirlby (Juno, Dredd, Goliath), E.J. Bonilla (Bull, Revenge, The Long Road Home), Britt Lower (Man Seeking Woman, Unforgettable), Michael Stahl-David (Narcos, Chambers, Cloverfield), Trent Garrett (Splitting Up Together, All My Children), Christian Coulson (Mozart in the Jungle, Nashville), Christian Borle (Smash, The Good Wife), Juani Feliz, Michael Benjamin Washington, Liza Colon-Zayas, Vered Blonstein…
Series Creator: Becky Mode (Smash, Feed the Beast).
Pilot Director: Susannah Grant (Erin Brokovitch, In Her Shoes, Confirmation, The 5th Wave).
Producers: Becky Mode, Susannah Grant, Alon Aranya, Avi Zvi, Ami Amir, Carl Beverly & Sarah Timberman (SEAL Team, Masters of Sex, Elementary).

Studios: ABC Studios, Matar Productions, Reshet 13 & Paper Plane Productions.

Ever wonder how TV executives wade through the dozens of pilot scripts they’re pitched each year? They have staff script readers, who provide what’s called “Script Coverage,” an executive summary and a recommendation for each script. Now you too can preview some of the season’s most buzzed about pilots and find out whether we’d recommend them for pickup. Note that all opinions are our own, and all plot, casting and other creative details described here are subject to change.

 

 

You’ll Like It If You Already Like: A Million Little Things, What About Brian, October Road

Likely Timeslot: Midseason replacement for A Million Little Things right after Grey’s Anatomy on thursday 9pm; or The Bachelor’s companion if they ever want to give it one.

 

WRITTEN BY: Becky Mode

PAGECOUNT: 62 pages

DRAFT: 2nd Revised Network Draft. 1/17/19

 

BACKGROUND: This year, ABC’s high on remakes of israeli shows. They have The Baker and the Beauty (read the preview here), and Until The Wedding, known in hebrew as Ad Hahatuna. It was not a huge hit but it ran for two seasons on Reshet beginning in 2008.

 

SCRIPT SYNOPSIS: DANNY and ADRIENNE (30s) have a seemingly great relationship. Adrienne is caught off guard when her exboyfriend, WILL, a philanthropic doctor who unexpectedly left her for the Congo, shows up at the wedding. Will claims he is friends with the groom, but his intentions of getting Adrienne back are later revealed. NAOMI is the constant third wheel in Danny and Adrienne’s relationship. She spends the wedding flirting with a British boy looking for US citizenship JAMES, only to find him entangled with another woman at the end o f the night. Adrienne’s brother, MILES, and his husband, SAM, bicker about their daughter. Danny’s sister, LAURA, has autism and makes a special connection with BEN, a wedding guest who also has autism. Danny’s ready to take the next step in his relationship but recognizes that Adrienne isn’t. However, he interrupts the wedding reception toast to propose her in front of everyone. The look on her face is unreadable, leaving us with the cliffhanger of the pilot…

COMMENTS: What motivated ABC to develop and pick-up a show based on a 11 year-old israeli moderated hit is not clear, but this surely isn’t groundbreaking. And that’s probably why no other network tried it before. Sure, it fits with the Alphabet’s mandate to lure back women but like with The Hypnotist’s Love Story, I want to believe women are worth better than that. It’s less stupid though, it just doesn’t have much of a hook and it doesn’t give enough good reasons to stay, unless you’re instantly drawn towards those characters but they don’t come out as special or anything. Some may even be quite irritating. This plus the messy soapy cliché storylines is a lot to accept. Good actors and a lot of chemistry could at least make it somewhat entertaining, especially since of course they’re all very easy on the eye. But today’s TV landscape probably doesn’t allow such a show to bloom.

Also, I have to say I was quite surprised by the fact that the married couple is almost nowhere to be seen. It’s set at their wedding but they are treated like secondary characters, especially the man. I read the script a few hours ago and I can’t even remember their names. That’s quite telling. It’s a choice -‘cos I guess it can only be- that I’m not a fan of. How can you be invested in a pilot set at a wedding if you don’t care about those who should be at the center of the attention in the first place? It gives the feeling that the guests are not even remotely interested in their friends’ big day, like they’re all deep in their own dramas. It doesn’t make them very sympathetic. One thing’s for sure: a wedding is a terrible place to be at, especially when you’re single and not happy about it. But that’s not really what it’s about. It’s mostly about couples in crises. The soon-to-become-a-thing pairing of autistic people Laura & Ben is the cute story that I liked the most. But I’m not sure where they can go from there…

Let’s meet the three leads, just in case you’re still interested in them after what I said: Adrienne is the one all her friends go to first for advice. She’s super empathic and warm with a biting sense of humor. Idealistic, ambitious and really smart, Adrienne has an especially high EQ. She’s a highly skilled psychologist who’s sometimes better at taking care of other people than she is of herself. Naomi is Adrienne’s roommate and best friend. Defiantly single, defiant in general — there’s nothing Naomi loves more than a good fight. Uncensored and funny, she’s an up- and-coming writer with a new book of essays that’s getting serious traction. Though Naomi would say anything to anyone, there are very few people she truly lets in. A fiercely loyal friend, Naomi would go to the end of Earth for the people she loves. Danny Garcia is a serious mensch, warm, who wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s not afraid to say what he thinks or express emotion. He’s the kind of guy who was born 40, and then had to shoulder a lot of responsibility growing up. Danny came from nothing. He built an online fraud detection company that’s about to go public, but he’s a family guy first. He’s a romantic, and madly in love with his girlfriend, Adrienne. Things get complicated when Adrienne’s ex-boyfriend shows up on the weekend Danny plans to propose. See: they’re good people after all. And it could be nice to spend some time with them but do we really want it?

 

FINAL RECOMMENDATION: With ABC already having A Million Little Things for its quota of friendship drama about relatable, complicated and attractive human beings, Until The Wedding doesn’t seem like something they need or worth a longtime commitment. And since it’s pretty forgettable on the page, though entertaining, perhaps it’d be best left at the altar.

 

OVERALL PROJECT SCORE:

X ] PASS
 ] CONSIDER
 ] RECOMMEND

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