So what if Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March were 21st-century Manhattanites rather than Civil War-era transcendentalists? That's the vibe I'm getting from Related all the warm, fuzzy sister stuff I loved about Little Women mixed up with the outlandishly huge loft apartments and excessively impractical shoes I've come to expect from TV's version of modern-day New York City. And it's quite the day of life-changing events for the Sorelli family: Rose has pierced her tongue and changed her major; Marjee's been evicted; Ann's breaking up with her one-of-the-family-now boyfriend (don't leave us, Dan Futterman!) and Ginnie's pregnant. I'm pretty sure they wrote in that last major plot point at the last minute just to steal Tom and Katie's thunder. And to top it all off, their long-widowed pop finally popped the question to his new girlfriend. (Oh, and Tom Irwin? I don't care if you play Moving-Forward Dad here, or Sweet-But-Stern Small-Town Dad on Reunion, or even Suicidal-Kidney-Transplant Dad on ER last season you're always gonna be Graham Chase to me. Just thought you should know.) There's laughter, tears, a platterful of bagels pretty much what you wish your family could be like on at least a semiweekly basis.
All of this is well and good, but I just have to point out: Music. Too. Loud. I feel like I'm watching a silent movie. Or waiting for Wile E. Coyote to finally nab that pesky Roadrunner. I'm all about music helping set the tone of a given scene, but at some point you've got to realize when you're actually obscuring dialogue. And since they're forcing me to talk about it with regards to the crazy loud mix, let's comment on the actual songs that aren't part of the plinky, plunky, we're-so-quirky underscore. Beck? Bring it. Gorillaz? Hell, yeah. Garbage circa 1998? For the girls in the experimental theater department? I don't get it.Final thoughts? Unbelievably distracting music and Jillian Barberie making out with a pug versus sweetly snappy dialogue and relationships I'd actually like to see on television not much of a contest. I'd say the only things standing in the way of me tuning in for Week 2 are those pesky castaways standing watch in the H-A-T-C-H.