Review: The Ex List – Series Premiere on CBS

Show: The Ex List (CBS)
Episode: “Pilot” – Series Premiere (Season 1)
Premiere Date: Friday, October 3rd, 2008
Rating: 2 out of 4 Stars

Quick Synopsis: Someone I’ve dismissed is the perfect guy for me.

Long Synopsis: A woman, in her early 30s, while out with her sister, who is about to get married, and others stop by a psychic’s storefront to get their fortunes told. The woman learns that she has one year to find her perfect man and get married or it will never happen for her. Furthermore, this guy is someone she already knows and had a romantic relationship with in her past. She doesn’t believe it until other things the psychic told her seem to be coming true. She begins to make a list of all the men in her past. She is also told to follow the signs, which leads her to a certain old boyfriend that she dumped eight years ago.

Review: The Ex List is a show that I don’t see how the premise will hold out for any length of time. With a deadline of a year, you either have to go the Lost route and have one year take place over multiple seasons or the show will be one and done.

The Ex List is based on an Israeli series called Mythological X. It ran for, I believe, 11 episodes. So, taking a short run series and turning it into something that can last for 22+ episodes seems tough unless you make some changes.

This is exactly what former show runner Diane Ruggiero, who was a writer/producer on Veronica Mars, set out to do. She had a vision of how this could be done, but the network wanted the show to remain as faithful as possible to the original. This caused a lot of friction between the two, so much so that Ruggiero recently quit with six episodes completed.

This means, if you like this episode, then you may be disappointed with episode seven and beyond, when things start to change. Most likely further in the direction that the network wanted. If you don’t like this episode, then maybe you should tune in again in a few weeks and see if you still don’t.

To me, I think this dueling of visions for the show got merged together through compromises from both sides, giving us an episode and a premise that just doesn’t work.

Elizabeth Reaser, she played Ava/Rebecca on Grey’s Anatomy, is wonderful, but that is about it. You buy her character, but just aren’t sold on the story she is stuck in. Really would like to see her in a good romantic comedy.

I just don’t see this show lasting, but then I’m not exactly the target demographic for this show. Let me put it this way, if you think a running gag about various va-jay-jay hairstyles might be funny. Then you should most definitely tune in, as this show is for you.

I will give the show a little credit; the resolution to this episode is actually very funny. You know something like it is coming, given the premise of the show, but how it happens is quite good.

Overall, it’ll be the second best bet in the second hour of primetime on Friday nights. But, with competition like ABC’s Supernanny, encores of America’s Next Top Model on The CW, and Don’t Forget the Lyrics! on FOX, it’s basically a win by default. While I haven’t seen Crusoe as of yet, it looks like it will be the much better pick in this time period. If you throw in cable, I would probably pick Stargate Atlantis over this as well.

The Ex List premieres tonight, Friday, October 3rd on CBS.

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Jason the TVaholic
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