The Ex List S1E1: Pilot
“I wanna get tattoos together and drink each other’s blood.”
I thought this show sounded cute from the start, but after trying to explain its premise to several people I felt like an idiot. And I almost didn’t watch it last night, but I’m glad that I did. It wasn’t the best pilot I’ve ever seen, and it’s not the kind of show I will purposely stay home on Friday nights to watch. But, I have to tell you that The Ex List is really funny.
A 9 pm timeslot on Friday evenings will surely murder this show, which is a shame. It centers on Bella, who takes her sister’s bachelorette party to a psychic for kicks…only the psychic tells Bella that if she doesn’t get married within a year, she will be a spinster forever. (She also makes several other uncanny predictions that eventually cause Bella to believe her). The catch is, Bella has already dated and dumped her soul mate.
Enter Elliot, who has amazing abs and seems likely to be Bella’s true soul mate. They are recently separated because he doesn’t believe in marriage and she’s tired of waiting around for him. This is the only reason given for their breakup, so obvs they’re perfect together. Bella is also surrounded by a wacky group of friends. The only thing that keeps me from identifying with these people more (besides Bella’s exceptionally skimpy outfits) is that this group of four 30-somethings all appear to live together. Which is pretty damn strange (although kind of like Friends, now that I think of it).
We have Augie and Vivian, a couple. Augie has been Bella’s best friend for 15 years. In the pilot, Vivian goes in for public hair maintenance and ends up completely bare. Augie won’t have sex with her because she looks like a 10-year-old, so she gets a merkin, which is a vaginal toupee. All of this is kind of odd, especially for a pilot, but it worked out to be pretty amusing. Perhaps the best part was Augie trying to explain the appeal of pubic hair: “It’s like, hey look over here! There’s something really cool over here. But it’s SO cool, we can’t show it to you.” Other characters include unemployed sarcastic roommate Cyrus, and Bella’s super-peppy sister Daphne. I couldn’t figure out why I recognized Vivian, and it was driving me nuts. Her resume includes a whole slew of shows that I have watched, so I still can’t figure it out. Can anyone help?
The first boyfriend Bella reconnects with is sensitive musician Johnny, who we see in a hilarious flashback telling her he wants to get tattoos and drink each other’s blood. But The Ex List subverts expectations (at least mine) by casting Eric Balfour as Johnny. It’s just so different from anything else I’ve ever seen him do, and that made it all the funnier. Anyway, in the present Johnny has turned into a super-hot eyelinered-and-tattooed rock star whose #1 hit, “Bitch,” is all about how Bella broke his heart. Naturally, Bella is instantly attracted to him. As Cyrus puts it, “He doesn’t like you anymore and it happened at the same time that he became more appealing to you. How weird.”
Bella & Johnny reignite their relationship, but Johnny turns needy pretty quickly. She tries turning the tables on him to make him dump her, but he puts up with all of her crap and she realizes maybe he is the one. Joke’s on her, though. It turns out that Johnny has orchestrated the entire thing to get revenge…which turns out to be the name of his next big hit. And he humiliates Bella by dedicating it to her in a crowded club.
In the end, Bella answers an ad for a lost cat and the owner turns out to be another ex. And the previews for next week look promising, with Bella reconnecting with an extremely active ex about whom she says, “He never stops moving. It’s like dating the bus from Speed.” Hilarious!