CBS is going to talk about marriage. Not gay marriage, no. That may or may not be talked about on the new gay couple sitcom Partners, but that's not what we're concerned with here. The marriage talk we're referring to is the conversation sparked by the controversial "All the Single Ladies" article that ran a few months back in the pages of our big sister publication, The Atlantic. That's the one by Kate Bolick about "the end of 'traditional' marriage as society’s highest ideal." It was a look at choices made by unmarried women that sparked no shortage of debate and is on its way to a bookstore near you. It's an interesting topic, for sure, but is it a good one for a sitcom?
CBS seems to think so, as they've just ordered a pilot from The Big C creator Darlene Hunt based on Bolick's article. Deadline's Nellie Andreeva describes the premise of the show as follows:
The TV project, from Sony Pictures TV where Hunt and Berman are based, centers on a successful, thirty-something woman who doesn’t want it all. After her boyfriend proposes, her feelings of excitement about living the life she’s always dreamed (marriage, kids, career) turns to dread at the thought of giving up her current life (independence and good times with her best friend roommate). She therefore turns down the proposal, choosing to think of her single life as a destination, not a journey.
Which, hm... Isn't exactly what the article is talking about? I mean, it sort of is, in terms of the central question of traditionally domestic contentment versus independent free living, but what does "choosing to think of her single life as a destination, not a journey" mean exactly? That sounds a bit more vague and touchy-feely than Bolick's bluntly introspective article ever gets.
Really this sounds more like a movie than a series, doesn't it? Like maybe a less horrifically bourgie Eat Pray Love? It'll likely still be bourgie, but maybe a little less about how the key to discovering one's true life is not working for a year and traveling to far-flung destinations? (There's that destination word again.) The other problem with this project is that, as anyone who's seen The Big C can attest, Darlene Hunt tends to over-quirk things. Sure she can't do all the same swears-and-sex-for-the-sake-of-swears-and-sex stuff she does on Showtime on CBS, but this could still be a bit insufferably overstuffed endeavor. (We're particularly worried about this "roommate" character.)
All told, we like Bolick's article — if nothing else it was an interesting conversation piece — but we're just not sure it's a sturdy enough foundation for a weekly show. Plus, you know, one of these days it'd be nice if we could finally get away from sitcoms about "relationships." We've had enough of those—especially with roommates thrown in.