First impression review of the first three episodes.
Verdict: Points for being different, though it’s one where I suggest waiting to make your decision until after the second episode. The episodes alternating between the two families will be useful if you like one more than the other but could also potentially be jarring and prevent any ongoing storyline. ♥♥♥♥/5
Oliver (Kyle Howard – the kid from The Love Boat is all grown up!) and Kelli (Kat Foster) have been married for 10 years and have two daughters. They look a little young to have been married so long, but okay.
Rather than being a show about them, it’s a show about their families: each episode involves them going either to his family home (known for “Hello hello!” and passive-aggressiveness) or her family home (known for being loving and nice.)
Conveniently, they’re always there at the same time as his two brothers (does Andrew Lees remind anyone else of Eric from Gossip Girl? and her two sisters. Personally, it felt like a lot of characters, but I suppose that’s where the separation is helpful.
The first three episodes
The premiere was both good and bad: yes, we effectively get to see how Oliver’s mother feels about her two daughters-in-law versus how she feels about her darling sons, but the bad is that it’s shown by her fixating on a picture drawn by their daughter in a way that grates a little – though to be fair, there is a good payoff at the end and it’s better from the next episode.
The second episode worried me at first – I thought the story was going to wind up being Kelli’s father focusing on his concern that Oliver was “handsy” – but thankfully it changed course and turned into a good episode that felt better than the premiere. Even if they did look the same in the “ten years ago” flashback as they do today.
By the third, I was getting used to it. I noticed/confirmed the easter egg (okay, not a super subtle one) in the opening credits, and Oliver’s mother didn’t fixate on something this time, which was reassuring that she won’t always do that.
The opening credits
No catchy song, or prolonged “here are their names, watch them smile at the camera” – but rather the functional kind.
It starts with the whole family together, hers dressed in white and his in black (see the picture above), getting ready to take a photograph, and as soon as it’s been taken they walk off different sides of the screen.
And this is where they indicate which family the episode will focus on: if it’s his, Kelli (reluctantly) follows them, and if it’s hers, Oliver (reluctantly) follows them.
With so many characters, I’m not sure some type of the more common credits wouldn’t have been more useful – it could still have been his or her family depending on the episode – but it’s always nice when they’re somehow different.