The critical hostility exhibited at the TV Critics Assn. tour to “Manhattan Love Story” felt puzzling, since being broad, derivative and slightly backward is hardly a new set of misdemeanors for network comedies, perhaps especially at ABC. Granted, the show’s central device — getting to hear the innermost thoughts of the central guy and gal — is straight out of the subtitled feeling-out exchange in “Annie Hall,” but at least the show’s leads are reasonably appealing. Clearly, though, the whole Venus and Mars thing, explored via internal monologue, is not only a slim conceit, but risks becoming quickly tedious.
Analeigh Tipton’s Dana is new to Manhattan, having just been hired by a publishing firm even as it engages in what euphemistically might be called “belt-tightening.” As such, the other employees not only resent her, but fear she’s just a less-expensive newbie recruited to do their jobs.