NBC tries because that mainstream family comedy by adapting the publication — and also movie — into a TV series. When it backs off the sugar and leavens it with sarcasm, the present works.

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Stars: David Walton, Minnie Driver, Benjamin Stockham, Anjelah N. Johnson, Leslie Bibb, Al MadrigalTeam: Jason Katims, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, woman Rosenthal, Robert DeNiro; manager - Jon Favreau

An adaptation ofNickHornby's novel and the 2002Hugh Grantfeature film, About a young follows the relationship in between a bachelor man-child and also the young boy who moves in following door v his crazy, solitary mother.

Jordin Althaus/NBC

It was type of a no-brainer to rotate the film About a Boy, based upon the novel by Nick Hornby (later turned into a movie together well, of course), into a tv series. It appears easy to expand the warmness that a precocious son bringing out the an ext mature side of a self-centered adult man. Include the hot single mom and also you’ve obtained that network television car for repeating sport on the same story native week come week.

NBC’s recent attempt to reach a tendency audience v a family comedy definitely has a strong pedigree and a well-crafted cast. Lugged to television by Jason Katims (Parenthood, Friday Night Lights), with the pilot command by Jon Favreau, About a Boy stars David Walton (Bent, The Loop, new Girl) as Will, the previously mentioned self-indulgent, self-centered slacker who lives a life of recreation because he created a very successful song and is living turn off the royalties. Minnie Driver (Good will certainly Hunting, The Riches), dram Fiona, the supremely over-protective helicopter mother to she young son, Marcus (Benjamin Stockham). They move in beside Will, and also their clashing lifestyles (Fiona is vegan and doesn’t want Marcus to have actually sugar or gluten or watch tv or partake in plenty of of the other things that young kids crave) collide. Will, a playboy and seeker that joy, couldn’t be any kind of further from mostly uptight Fiona. But, as many everybody to know from either the book, the movie or simply the meant plot trajectory, will certainly takes come Marcus — mostly because he feels sorry because that the kid, desires to protect him native himself and have some funny in life and likewise to store him indigenous embarrassing himself, i m sorry touch-feely Marcus is wont to do.

The Bottom LineIf girlfriend haven't viewed the movie or check out the book, this show focuses on how one good-natured, naive kid deserve to turn a self-centered adult right into a much better person. Yet don't worry, there room plenty of jokes.

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Extending the concept a bit, Will’s finest friend, Andy (the exorbitant Al Madrigal), is married and has three kids — another reminder the everybody is growing up and moving on through their lives other than Will.

About a Boy is collection in san Francisco but plainly not shot over there — all of the do the efforts to make it look favor San Francisco are hokey. Andy is an alleged to live in the east Bay, which functions as a concept due to the fact that so many solitary people who get married and have kids end up fleeing san Francisco.

About a boy is in ~ its ideal when Walton, who’s to be funny in every little thing he’s been in, is allowed to riff through Driver, Madrigal or, in a snarky yet protective way, Stockham. Having actually seen the first three episodes — the series gets a sneak emergence on Saturday of all nights, right after the Olympics — it’s clear that the ingredients space all there for a successful comedy around the complications of adulthood: marriage, divorce, kids and parenting. As soon as the authors nail the truisms — Madrigal’s character says he hasn’t watched a movie since 2008, and when Andy and his wife, Laurie (Annie Mumolo), obtain a pair of complimentary hours to ostensibly have sex, they select instead to record up ~ above Homeland — the series really clicks.

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And there room a many those great moments, an especially in the first and 3rd episodes. Wherein About a Boy suffers is when the storytelling gets a tiny too saccharine in the Will-Marcus friendship. The second episode goes an especially overboard with this and not only cuts right into the believability but loses all balance through the sarcasm that makes the show work. Having Will constantly be the hero and also do the appropriate thing because that Marcus’ sake, also if it method losing yet another potential hook-up v yet an additional beautiful woman, provides him also saintly and also bogs down the series in feel-good, heart-string-pulling goo.

About a young could likewise use an ext of Driver — the issue is that the writers space making her also one-dimensional in she over-protectiveness and earthy-crunchiness.

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However, if About a Boy can find the ideal balance of sentimentality and also snark, it can really pay off for NBC.