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TV Review: What About Brian on ABC

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Last night I was invited to view the ABC episode of tonight’s surprise substitute pitched in the prime-time slot normally inhabited by the hit show Grey’s Anatomy. It was a show called What About Brian. Semi- typical of series premieres, it spends some time on setting the stage. This show reminds me very much of the Grey’s Anatomy’s debut last year. Not a lot seemed to be expected of it; not much made in the way of promotion and then — Bam! You watch, listen, and hear some talented TV writing.

What About Brian also incorporates a decent pop soundtrack, and while I was watching this show, (which is only possible for me if I have something mentally stimulating enough to garner my short attention span…) I actually liked the cast — I liked the dialogue. I loved how the show did not talk “idiot” to viewers.

I loved the absence of laugh tracks; how I hate those programs that incorporate mindless laugh tracks.

Barry Watson, from the WB networks, 7th Heaven and Sarah Lancaster
(Everwood) worked very well together as the couple that lead in with potential romantic ties, but yet previously friends, and part of a close-knit group… old but true enactment ploys. Quite Shakespearean.

Now while much of this program may seem been there and done that, my initial impressions, which go completely opposite of some of my colleagues, say this program is going to follow in the direction of the show it took the time slot of tonight, Grey’s Anatomy — an out of left field surprise and hit.

Brian’s main character, Barry Watson is a hubba, hubba handsome, sweet guy who put me in mind of Bo Bice of American Idol 4, albeit with shorter hair. Barry plays a guy who is a mid-30s bachelor who (finally) owns up to being in love with pediatric surgeon Marjorie.

The cast of characters by the end of the first episode have defined roles and characters. The premier sets the stage for the next series of episodes and led you to think you may know where it is going…

I will be watching this sweet, Brian show to find out if I am right in the direction it may head next. I’m thinking it’s the Next Hit to Watch on free TV.

Check it out.

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  • Scott Butki

    I’m confused and I’m only three minutes into it.

    I thought this was the first episode and yet they already started with “Previously on this show…”

    What’s up with that?

  • @Scott – I think its their idea of “clever device”. Whatever.

    I dont know if its the fact that 7th Heaven has scarred me for life or actual bleh-ness but I dont care for Barry watson – too pouty and sulky. The only interesting people in it were the couple who decide to have an open marriage but they ended up as blatant manipulation. Maybe it’ll get better…

  • Scott, “the couple that lead in with potential romantic ties, but yet previously friends” remark stems from the interaction between the characters hints that these two, (Barry Watson, from the WB networks, “7th Heaven” and Sarah Lancaster from “Everwood”)while having known each other for a while and interacting as ‘friends’ really had the hots for each other. Brian’s character ‘pines’ secretly for Marjorie (Sarah Lancaster), she in turn has some attraction for him, but apparently dear ol’ Brian has some kind of bedpost notching history with women and so Marjorie shies away from the romantic entanglements. yadda yadda.

    Thanks for the post.

  • I have a second review coming out, a follow-up on the TV debut and its second episode. This is a non-reality show that could make it; encouraging to find writers in free TV that can possibly still deliver.

    Of course, the scene with Barry Watson emerging dripping wet from the shower doesn’t do it any damage.

  • Scott Butki

    I didn’t think he was that hot but man, Lisa was nice to look at.

  • Jewels

    Scott; Barry was So Hot!!! Had me in a lather – anyhoo here’s the other post I put in on this show, second episode: What About Brian, a Second Look He Surely looked Sweet all drippin’ wet…from the shower.

    Thanks for your post.

  • Scott Butki

    You’re very polite but you don’t need to say thank you each time.

  • Maxx LeBank

    I agree with Scott Butki, but want to see more of the “2nd” Lisa. Who is she?