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About a Boy - Episode 1.01 - Pilot - Preview

It’s finally midseason, and after the failure of most of NBC’s comedies this year, they’ve got a new one to try out: About a Boy. You may be thinking, “Isn’t that a Nick Hornby novel/a movie with Hugh Grant?” and the answer to both is yes. Yes it is. And now it is also a new sitcom by Jason Katims, the King of Adaptations (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood).

The story is very similar to the movie in many ways (I can’t speak to similarities to the novel); Will (David Walton) is a wealthy bachelor, living a life of careless debauchery and absolutely no attachments. Cue the arrival of new neighbors Fiona (Minnie Driver), a depressed and earthy single mom, and her son Marcus (Benjamin Stockham), an odd little boy. Will ropes Marcus into pretending to be his son, after lying about being a single dad in order to win over a beautiful cellist (Leslie Bibb). Of course Will and Marcus start to form a bond that exists somewhere between father/son, older brother/younger brother, and just plain ol’ friendship; a relationship that is presumably the focus of the series.

For those who have seen the film, the plot is clearly quite similar (as one might expect in a project with the exact same name), but having run-through most of the movie plot in the pilot, it’s fair to assume that the show will use that as a jumping off point to its own unique stories. The show will most likely hinge on the chemistry between the charming and consistently unfortunate David Walton, and his rather diminutive co-star, Benjamin Stockham. They’ve got a fun back and forth in the pilot, with the fantastic Minnie Driver in the mix, if the show fails, it won’t be because of its cast.

Based on Jason Katims’ track record on television over the past several years, everything would point to this show being a success. The pilot’s got some funny moments, some uncomfortable moments, and quite a bit of heart.

And in case you can’t wait til next week, here’s a preview line for you all (feel free to guess the character if you’d like):
I know that you are extremely fond of the tradition of cooking slaughtered animals in an open air setting, but in the spirit of being a good neighbor, could you please refrain from grilling unless there is a southwesterly wind?

If you want more discussion about About a Boy, I’ll talk about my thoughts and feelings in greater depth after the first episode premieres on NBC next Saturday, February 22nd, after the Olympic coverage.

What do you think about the new show? Are you planning to give it a chance? Are you against adaptations? Let us know what you think below!