Number one on my most anticipated list for fall television was The Ex-List. Of course that was mostly by default, thanks to the writer’s strike it looks like most of the quality shows won’t show up until mid-season while the fall is mostly populated by easy to put out shows. And really the main reason why The Ex-List stood out from the rest was that is was being ran by Diane Ruggiero who wrote some of the best episodes of Veronica Mars who bolted after some created differences.
But six episodes were in the can before Ruggiero so I figured that it would at least start strong. And apparently I figured wrong. Where to start with what is wrong? I guess you start with the casting most notably the lead Elizabeth Reaser (The Family Stone) who is really miscast. The show is built to be this quirky drama but Reaser just doesn’t have a handle on comedy. Bella needed to be portrayed by an actress that can walk the line chronically clumsy but never actually crossing the line and Reaser just cannot find the rhythm.
The supporting cast is just not likable. First there are Bella’s roommates and companions Alex Breckenridge (Dirt) and her obscenely oversized bangs and Adam Rothenberg (Mad Money). Then there is Amir Talai (Mad TV) who just seems like a throw away character that seems to have no reason to be there. The most unlikeable is most recent ex-boyfriend Mark Deklin (Herbie - Fully Loaded) who is only around because he shares custody of a dog with Bella.
The only good thing about the show so far is Bella’s sister Rachel Boston (American Dreams) who is a lighting bolt on screen and may have been a better choice for Bella. What’s odd is even though he bachelorette party is the catalyst for Bella getting her fortune of she has one year to find her soul mate of spend the rest of her life alone, we actually do not meet her fiancee in the first hour.
The worst casting award goes to Bella’s first chance encounter with one of her exes in Eric Balfour (Can't Hardly Wait) who is right up there with the dudes from Heroes in the How Does This Dude Still Find Work category. Without him in future The Ex-List has room for improvement but I don’y see how it can get much more better especially with the exit of Ruggiero.
The Ex-List airs Fridays at 9:00 on CBS. You can stream recent episodes over at Innertube. You can also download The Ex-List on iTunes.