"Then Came You" is the perfect companion series to "Two Guys and a Girl."
Both shows are amusing, but not laugh-out-loud funny. Both center on relationships. Both are unoriginal and break no new ground.
"Then Came You," premiering on ABC tonight at 8:30 immediately following "Two Guys and a Girl," was created by Betsy Thomas and Jeff Strauss and is based on Thomas' own experience divorcing her husband, moving into a hotel and falling in love with a younger hotel employee.
Billie (Susan Floyd), 33, leaves her dependable, trustworthy (i.e.: boring) husband Lewis (Colin Ferguson) and quickly falls for young pup Aidan (Thomas Newton). He's 22 and gets encouragement for his romance with an older woman from British buddy Ed (Desmond Askew).
"She's an older woman -- they don't play games, they don't have time," Ed says. "You're doing this for all of us."
Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.
The age difference between Billie and Aidan becomes a running joke instantly and, unfortunately, continues unabated in future episodes. How many funny lines are there about how he's younger (she imagines him as a 10-year-old searching for a Rugrats notebook) and she's older (he doesn't understand a reference to Mrs. Robinson in "The Graduate")?
"Then Came You" is fine if you just want to turn off your brain and watch TV. But viewers are unlikely to care about the characters. That is left to superior sitcoms, including "Friends," "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "Will & Grace."
The supporting characters are especially weak. Billie's friend, Cheryl (Miriam Shor), comes across as a shrew and a snob. It's easier to like Ed, but he's basically the same "lovable screw-up sidekick" we've seen dozens of times before.
Newton is well-cast as a twentysomething, alternately unsure (Does she really want me?) and overly confident (showing up for a formal date wearing a jean jacket).
As Billie, Floyd sometimes comes across as cold. It's tough to warm up to her, given the seeming ease with which she tosses aside her nice-guy husband in tonight's premiere.
Or maybe that's just this nice-guy TV critic over-identifying.