Love Bites: Episode 1

Published June 7, 2011 by criticaditelevisore

The show stars Becki Newton of "Ugly Betty" as Annie.

Now, before I even start reviewing I will reiterate what the blogosphere knows: this show is dead before its even started. NBC has cut down the episodes to be aired even though they’ve been shot and one of the leads has signed on for another show for the fall season. With that said, Love Bites is a rom-com made up of anthologies centering around several main characters.

The first story takes place in New York, where Annie (Becki Newton) shouts from the limo of her friend’s bachelorette party. Their friend is getting hitched soon, and its a girls night out on the town. Except the bride-to-be passes out drunk before they start said night, leaving Annie and her friend Cassie (Krysten Ritter) to make their night something to enjoy. Notably, Annie is pregnant (surrogate to her sister), which causes most men to deviate their attention to her when she’s out in public – and thereby ignoring Cassie’s attempts to flirt. Cassie finally has Annie upstaged when she blurts out that she’s a virgin to the cute guy at the bar she’s just met. They leave for her apartment, bond over Battlestar Galactica, but Jordan doesn’t consider himself the “right guy”. Cassie waits for him to call her, wondering if she scared him off with her virgin-story. Annie and their work-friends assure her otherwise. Turns out he is indeed concerned about being her first guy, and his buddies coax him into pursuing Cassie since a 20-something virgin BSG fan is the rarest of creatures. On their next encounter, Cassies confesses to Jordan that she lied in order to have an “angle” to get guys interested in her instead of her pregnant friend. Jordan, shocked, confesses he lied as well, and they drive off into the night, all forgiven and geeking out over BSG.

The next story centers around Carter, an accountant who just lost his job to a new software system (ouch). His mopey demeanor promptly shatters when he hears moaning coming from the new flat he and his fiancée Liz just moved into… cheating fiancée you say? Oh, but lo and behold its actually the lucky bride-to-be from the first story – using her present, a “Maserati of vibrators”, courtesy of her girlfriends. He is deterred from telling her the bad news, and makes her pleasure his new priority. Accountant-man and his also-fired friend express their exacerbation at the new technology, marveling at speed, size and heat capabilities. Accountant-man attempts to please his fiancée, but ends up with a lisp. That’s right, a lisp. Which botches his interview the next day because he can’t speak! Eventually, he tells his fiancée the truth about his being fired, and she expresses her faith in him and his ability to find another job – aside from his current one of becoming better than the vibrator.

The last story features Judd (Greg Grunberg) as he and his buddy Bowman leave for accountant-man’s bachelor party – a fishing trip, since he lost his job in the last anthology. As they’re being dropped off at the airport by Judd’s wife, Judd spots the only celebrity on his Celeb Exemption List: Jennifer Love Hewitt (as herself). His wife encourages him to go after her, since she’ll never have sex with him anyway. Through a series of coincidences, Judd ends up next to Ms. Love herself, and somehow manages to convince her to go have sex with him in the bathroom of the plane. Turns out she’s been wanting to get into the mile-high club herself, and the opportunity just presented itself. However, they leave without having sex, since Judd feels like this would be cheating on the wife he dearly loves – but it turns out she hooked up with Johnny Depp at a party she went to.

I must admit that I really enjoyed the soundtrack to the episode. The array of cheery to melodramatic pop songs adds to the stories. It adds to my perception of this tv show as a tv-format version of Love, Actually rather than a rom-com in itself. I liked the quirky nature of the first story, since it seemed sincere in its portrayal of the hardships of playing the field, so to speak. However, her friends likening of Cassie to Bella from Twilight (as the virgin who can’t get sex) and wondering whether vampire penises are cold (really?!) made the characters seem like tweens instead of adults who are ready to get committed. Also, Jordan and his buddies continued the Twilight angle in regards to “imprinting” (ew) leaves me with an inclination to gag rather than smile at the cuteness of the couple’s story. The second story probably would have been better if it had focused on the nature of the relationship itself as opposed to the inability of Carter to make Liz actually orgasm without the help of her toy. The third story, while attempting to be mature in respect to the sacred vows of marriage just makes Judd’s character seem pathetic when in reality, he could be really awesome! He’s a tattoo artist with a hot wife and a great personality – but JLH asking him if she can lie so she can make her ex jealous? Okay, what? Why would anyone believe that Jennifer Love Hewitt had sex with a guy in the first class bathroom with a total stranger? And then she falls in love with him because he won’t have sex with her? The storyline is clumsy at best, but did make me grimace at a few points throughout the airplane scenes.

Overall, the show is nothing to really set to your DVR as of yet, but I’m hoping that the next 8 episodes slated to air will at least be of the same caliber as the first anthology, as opposed to the toilet-humor-esque feel of the latter two.

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