Just like my review for Traffic Light, I’ll start with my initial thought, “Again?” It’s like all the networks were trying to one-up each other this season with the next bunch of TV friends and couples. ABC has Better With You, NBC has Perfect Couples, Fox has Traffic Light, and now CBS has Mad Love. The thing is, none of the four are particularly different from each other and the first three have gotten average to poor ratings. That leaves Mad Love as the only one that could break out, and while it’s unlikely, it should get decent ratings.
Airing after How I Met Your Mother, Mad Love begins and ends with a voice-over and the main character even looks like HIMYM’s Josh Raydor (so much so that I actually did a double take). The difference in premise is that the narration is done by Tyler Labine’s character Larry Munsch, the silly, overweight sidekick, and that the main characters, Kate (Sarah Chalke) and Ben (Jason Biggs), don’t seem that important. While Kate and Ben are perfectly happy by the end of the episode and have no conflict, Larry and Connie (Judy Greer) continue to squabble and that’s the sticking point of the show.
I like how the sidekicks are getting the spotlight for once (though one could argue that the stereotypical sidekicks are in fact the main characters), and “Fireworks” had decent jokes, but it’s been done before to death, not just in this season but plenty of times before.