I watched three new drama pilots this weekend (I’m very busy and couldn’t watch them live) and I was most looking forward to A Million Little Things! I have a fondness for nearly every single actor involved and the commercials all made it seem like it was going to be a great new drama. So imagine my disappointment when it was my least favorite of the new pilots!
I want to say first off that I don’t think it was bad by any means. It was more like the pilot was trying to do too much and so it had a looseness that I don’t care for when you’re trying to sell your show to me. One thing this pilot actually does beautifully is introducing us to every single major player and giving us their most pressing issue, with the exception of Jon (Ron Livingston) who is currently everyone’s most pressing issue.
First we meet Gary (James Roday) who is potentially about to receive terrible news from a doctor who’s more concerned about getting balsamic vinaigrette on his salad. In rapid order we then get Rome (Romany Malco) and Eddie (David Giuntoli), the former putting the finishing touches on his suicide note and the latter hastily packing a suitcase and talking to his (unnamed and unseen) mistress about leaving his wife. He has to quickly move his bags and pretend to be leisurely playing the guitar when his wife Katherine (Grace Park) comes back unexpectedly. It’s clear it’s no longer a loving marriage.
Between all these introductions we’re seeing Jon at work with his (too sexy) assistant Ashley (Christina Ochoa). He seems to be doing well and making a deal but in the next instant Gary is calling Rome to tell him Jon has killed himself by jumping off his balcony at work and luckily Rome spits out all the pills (honestly, thank god. Romany Malco was like 60% of the reason I wanted to watch this show).
The rest of the episode follows this same pathway with a few deviations. There’s some mystery surrounding Ashley and Jon’s relationship at work – she’s hidden a file folder from both the police and everyone else. Gary meets a woman, Maggie (Allison Miller) at a breast cancer survivor’s meeting – which he should not have been attending IMO. There’s gotta be a support group for men who get breast cancer too that would save him a great deal of confusion. On the other hand he (and we) would not have met Maggie otherwise, so I’m willing to let it slide.
We also get the information that this group of friends is somewhat unique. None of them know each other from childhood or high school or even college. They’re only really friends because the four men got trapped in an elevator together once many years ago and before the end of their captivity Jon had essentially browbeat them all into sharing Bruins season tickets together. It was at this point that I realized Jon was in fact a manic pixie dream dude. I mean who does that? Regular people don’t do that.
In any case we are also treated to a funeral in this episode which does not drag on as long as it would have on another show. We finally meet Jon’s wife Delilah (Stephanie Szostak) and children who seem to be bearing the tragedy as well as can be expected. Constance Zimmer is also weirdly in this episode, credited only as “Mourner” which if she’s only in this episode is fine I guess, but if she continues to be on this show is woefully beneath her. Eddie gives a eulogy which is actually lovely and everyone retires to Jon and Delilah’s house for the wake.
Before too long it’s only our main cast left and they separate by gender pretty quickly, though Eddie’s wife Katherine does not stick around. The guys decide to go to the Bruins game to honor Jon and the ladies stay at home and drink wine together offering comfort. It seems Maggie couldn’t have come into their lives at a better time since she’s a grief therapist and Delilah and Rome’s wife Regina (Christina Marie Moses – late of The Originals) welcome her with open arms.
The guys end up having kind of a blow up at the hockey game, but luckily it settles when Rome comes clean about his suicide attempt. They all realize they don’t really know each other because they don’t really talk about anything that matters most of the time. And if this show is going to be a nuanced look at male friendships and intimacy then I am sold 100%. We need more shows about men being sensitive with each other.
Speaking of sensitive men, while the guys are all at the Bruins game the girls go to show Regina Jon’s last deal. It was for a very fancy old-ish looking building with a bakery/restaurant space on the ground floor. Turns out Regina is a chef and used to have a restaurant that went under and Jon’s last deal before he died was getting this building so Regina could have another restaurant.
The final revelation of the pilot is that Eddie’s mistress is none other than Delilah! It’s unclear if Jon knew about the affair or not but based on Eddie’s phone call at the beginning of the episode it sounded like Delilah was willing to leave Jon also. I’m sure we’ll continue unravelling the mysteries as we accrue even more but so far “A Million Little Things” is a little loose and in need of direction.
What did you think of the pilot episode?
Do you also think Ashley is suspicious AF?
Will Katherine even notice if Eddie leaves her?