Exes & Oh's: The First Complete Season
It's a Lesbian Thing
What happens when you try too hard to cross breed Friends, Sex and the City and Queer As Folk? You get the disastrous Exes & Oh's.
I've never seen The L Word so I'm not sure where it would fit into the cross pollination of the above, but I did have hopes for this show (after I found out one of my friends was in the pilot).
The story centers around friends Jennifer (Michelle Paradise), Sam (Marnie Alton), the Ch/Krises (Angela Featherstone and Megan Cavanagh) and Crutch (Heather Matarazzo) who hang out at the Beever Café, owned by Emmy Beever (Amy Dudgeon).
Paradise, who is the creater/writer/producer of the show, has written herself a very bland/uninteresting character. Throughout the six episode season she constantly whines over the breakup over her relationship to Sienna (Darby Stanchfield) to their couples counselor, Jenna (Grace Renn). Now a year has gone by and the new couple if getting married.
With all of her friends attending the wedding Jennifer is accidently left on Jenna's yacht and is forced to attend since they've left the dock. She feels this all should be hers and not someone else's big day (how selfish can someone be?). Then there's always a point in every episode where she looks at the camera, a title pops up and we're given a definition.
As the lovelorn Jennifer, Paradise is so wooden that you could really care less if she gets funding for a new documentary which pops into her mind about women, power and sex so her journey now is to secure funding.
The saving grace to the show is Alton's Sam. She's a very carefree spirit (and former ex to Jennifer) and the "Brian Kinney/Samantha Jones" of the show. Alton delivers a bravado performance in every episode and she's most vulnerable with her father (Serge Houde) who tries to understand and accept her lifestyle.
Since Matarazzo is the "big name" here, she's not really given a chance to do anything. She wants to be a singer (think "Phoebe") and works at the café to help supplement the checks she receives from her mother. But it's not explained if Crutch is a child of wealth or not. During the show her roommates kick her out of the apartment and she seeks solace in the storage room at the café until Emmy discovers her living there.
Featherstone and Cavanagh play the series couple who are complete opposites of one another. It's not really clear if the two are having relationship problems and they run an animal accessory business from their home. Friends fans should remember these two as the girl who broke up Ross and Rachael (Featherstone) and Cavanagh played the animal control officer who hated Rachael (as well as Marla Hooch in A League of Their Own). Sadly, their comedic talents are lost here.
While season two is not available on DVD I'd say you should go into this thinking it should be re-titled "Exes & Blows." Maybe it gets better in the second season?