Published Jul 02, 2013Much like the better than expected movie of the same name, About a Boy establishes its protagonist Will (David Walton) as a man-child. Having little in the form of responsibility in his self-sustained life and even less in the form of character-defining emotional development, his main reason for social interaction stems from species propagation instinct. In short: he's a slut.
This is why he lies to sexy single mom Dakota (Leslie Bibb) about having a son, pretending that he's the altruistic single father of a boy overcoming cancer at a single parents support group. She eats it up, popping into his life, hoping for play dates more so than the coitus Will so eagerly desires.
Conveniently, the socially awkward Marcus (Benjamin Stockham) just moved in next door to him with his overly protective, hippie-dippy mother Fiona (Minnie Driver). He makes a deal with Marcus to pose as his kid if, in exchange, Will feeds him meat and acts as an ersatz social companion, giving him the practical male advice his neurotic mother is incapable of.
What's interesting about this premise is that it implodes before the pilot episode ends. Fiona learns that Will is using her son to score poon, as does Dakota, leaving her character presumably out of the picture. What About a Boy seems to be focused on is the gradual maturation of Will and a possible romantic dalliance between him and the perpetually abused Fiona.
It's far too heartwarming to play as the irreverent comedy is poses as, but along the way there are a few decent jokes about vegetarianism and social faux-pas' that work well enough given the format. Helping this is the fact that Walton and Stockham have good chemistry, playing off each other's varying personalities, with the dorky but intelligent kid learning bad habits from a role model that might be more compassionate and positive than he appears.
How this premise can sustain more than a season remains to be seen, but there are far worse sitcoms out there, even when considering that the climax of this pilot features a full-on musical number.
About a Boy is scheduled as a midseason replacement to air in early 2014 on Global TV. (Universal)