Men In Trees
Pilot

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Wing Chun: B- | Grade It Now!
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Dude Ranch

We open on a montage of Marin Frist (Anne Heche) giving her stump man-trapping lecture to various extremely appreciative, overwhelmingly female audiences. Apparently, Marin's mother used to tell her that finding a man is as easy as finding a cab, in a snowstorm, on New Year's Eve. Way to establish the notion of landing a relationship as a thankless slog that probably ends in disappointment and/or a stained hem, Mother Frist. That doesn't damage a young girl at all. Fortunately, Marin managed to ignore her mother; she describes that as "stinkin' thinkin'," and is telling her acolytes that there are "plenty of guys out there." Marin's voice-over breaks in to say that, a week ago, she thought she knew it all. She lectures that women can't act as though finding "the one" will make them happy, because to do so is to leave their happiness in the hands of others. Then we get to Marin's queer little automotive analogy: you can't drive with a blindfold on, nor can you date that way. Instead, you have to look out for the signs. And she has some! Ah, visual aids. Although maybe that's crucial in getting through to an audience of women so dim that they'd go to a self-help love lecture in the first place. If he's married, cheating, or "watches gay porn just for variety," one should STOP. There's something about a DETOUR with a cute ex-boyfriend who keeps showing up but won't settle down; you aren't going to MERGE if he's SLIPPERY WHEN WET. Well, I'll give Jenny Bicks this much: she has certainly taken on board the tendency of self-help writers to come up with a gimmick to differentiate themselves from each other. At least everything Marin says doesn't rhyme.

MVO says she was happy -- and she certainly looks it as she says she was getting married (the designer wants to give Marin the gown she's trying on as a gift). As Marin bears down in a spinning class, she says she'd quit smoking. (And though it goes by very quickly, I could swear that the woman on the bike next to Marin's is Tori, which would make sense, since both women's shows film in Vancouver.) Marin stops proudly at a window display full of copies of her latest book -- I'm Dating, And So Can You. Not YIELDing To Possibilities or GO Find A Man or THIS LANE ENDS In Fulfillment? Lame.

Sometime later, Marin signs copies of her book at a glam launch party. She is soon accosted by Annie (Emily Bergl), whom she fondly tells, "You have got to stop crashing my book parties!" Annie says she just wanted to be the first to get the titles in paperback. Marin stops, resigned, and asks to whom she should make out her inscription. "Me," says Annie plainly. Marin -- too affectionately, under the circumstances -- asks Annie if she wouldn't rather stalk someone "groovier," like Bruce Springsteen. Update your references, Marin! Billy Vera, hello. "You...make me feel better," Annie breathes, creepily. Marin reads her inscription: "To Annie: Stop stalking. Start dating. Have hope." To The Men Of New York: Start avoiding Annie. Marin moves off; Annie gazes after her adoringly, and then scrambles to get one of Marin's stray hairs from her sleeve into a locket. (That might have been cut for time.)

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Men In Trees

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