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Mad Love aired from February until May 2011 on CBS.
MAD LOVE is a comedy about a quartet of New Yorkers - two who are falling in love and two who despise each other... at least for now. Ben ( Jason Biggs), a lawyer, is a hopeless romantic trying to build a relationship with Kate ( Sarah Chalke), a beautiful, smart girl whom Ben thinks is the woman of his dreams. Larry ( Tyler Labine), Ben's unrefined best friend and co-worker, is a guy who doesn't believe in love and has a long track record as the third wheel. Connie ( Judy Greer) , Kate's roommate, works as a nanny and finds Larry aggravating... or does she? Larry and Connie have a lot in common, but refuse to let their guard down long enough to see it.
Jason Biggs began his acting career at the age of 5 in national commercials as well as modeling. He won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding
Younger Actor in a Drama Series for his role on the daytime drama, "As the World Turns," and appeared on the shows "Drexel's Class" and "Total Security."
At age 13, Biggs made his Broadway debut opposite Judd Hirsch in the critically acclaimed Broadway play, "Conversations with My Father." Other theater credits include the Broadway production of "The Graduate," opposite Kathleen Turner; "Boy's Life," a coming-of-age comedy by Second Stage Theater in which he starred opposite Rhys Coiro; and Daniel Goldfarb's play, "Modern Orthodox," in which he starred Off-Broadway opposite Craig Bierko and Molly Ringwald.
Biggs quickly became one of Hollywood's most talked-about young actors after his breakthough role in the "American Pie" trilogy. His film credits also include "Jersey Girl," written and directed by Kevin Smith, in which he starred alongside Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler; the Woody Allen
project "Anything Else"; the film adaptation of Elizabeth Wurtzel's best-selling biography Prozac Nation, opposite Christina Ricci; the romantic
comedy "Saving Silverman" with Jack Black, Steve Zahn and Amanda Peet; the Amy Heckerling film "Loser"; the romantic comedy "Boys and
Girls," opposite Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Claire Forlani; Saul Metztein's black comedy "Guy X"; the Disney hit "8 Below," an adventure film in which hestarred opposite Paul Walker; "Over My Dead Body," a romantic comedy with Paul Rudd and Eva Longoria; and Lionsgate's romantic comedy "My Best Friend's Girl," in which he starred opposite Kate Hudson.
Recently, he completed production on the features "Grass Roots," Stephen Gyllenhaal's directorial debut, and "BFF & Baby," in which he will
star opposite Kate Bosworth and Krysten Ritter.
The Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., native resides in Los Angeles. His birth date is May 12.
For nine seasons, Sarah Chalke starred as Dr. Elliot Reid on the Emmy Award-winning series, "Scrubs."
A native of Ottawa, Canada, Chalke was raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, and began appearing in local musical theater productions when
she was 8. A few years later, she became an environmental reporter for the Canadian series, "Kid Zone." Her big break came in 1993 when she was cast as daughter Becky Conner on the series "Roseanne."
In 2005, Chalke starred in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of "Create Fate," and completed a successful run in the Off-Broadway production of "Modern Orthodox," a romantic comedy about love, dating and unlikely friendships, under the direction of James Lapine at New York's Underwood Theater. In 2006, she starred as Lifetime Television executive and breast cancer survivor "Geralyn Lucas" in Lifetime's Outstanding Made for Television Movie Emmy nominee, "Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy." In 2007, she starred opposite Ryan Reynolds and Stuart Townsend in the Warner Independent thriller, "Chaos Theory."
Recently, Chalke had a recurring role as Stella Zinmann on the Emmy Award-winning comedy series, "How I Met Your Mother," on the Network.
Chalke was most recently seen in "Maneater," a four-hour Lifetime Original miniseries based on Gigi Levangie Grazer's New York Times #1 best-selling book, The Starter Wife. The successful miniseries was that network's highest-rated program of the year.
In her free time, Chalke enjoys cooking with friends, hiking, snowboarding and skiing (she is an instructor). She speaks French and German fluently, and volunteers at a hospice for terminally ill children. Her birth date is Aug. 27.
A native of Canada, Tyler Labine was born in Brampton, Ontario, and moved as a child with his family to Vancouver, British Columbia. He began
his acting career in local theater and a number of small television roles. After landing one of the lead roles on the series "Breaker High" and "That Was Then," he appeared in film roles opposite Jean Reno in Tony Bill's "Flyboys," Nathan Lane in "Trixie," Cybill Shepherd in "Marine Life" and Tim Robbins in "Antitrust."
Labine's notable film appearances include his role in "My Boss's Daughter" with Ashton Kutcher; working opposite David Bowie in "Mr. Rice's
Secret," and the feature "The Zero Sum" with Ewen Bremner. Recently, Labine had a starring role in the comedy, "A Good Old Fashioned Orgy," with Lake Bell and Leslie Bibb. In 2009, Labine starred as Lewis Henderson in "Control Alt Delete."
His television credits include series regular roles on "Invasion," "Reaper" and "Sons of Tucson," and a guest-starring roleon "Boston Legal." He also portrayed John Belushi in the TV film, "Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Mork & Mindy.'"
Off camera, Labine pursues his musical and creative talents. In 2004, he produced the film, "Everyone," which won the "Best Film" Award
at the Montreal Film Festival. Currently, Labine is submitting his new mockumentary film, "Extreme Walking," to many festivals; he executive
produced, starred in, wrote and co-directed the film. Musically, Labine, his brother, Kyle, Jeff Gustafson and Ryan Robbins make up the hip-hop band, Self-Dep (Labine is also known as a talented music producer and MC). His band jams and records in their home studio.
Although he splits his time between Vancouver and Los Angeles, Labine remains close with his family, often enjoying snowboarding in British
Columbia and vacationing at the family cottage in Ontario. His birth date is April 29.
One of the busiest actresses in Hollywood, Judy Greer recently wrapped filming the features "Jeff Who Lives At Home," opposite Ed Helms
and Jason Segel, as well as "The Descendants," opposite George Clooney.
In addition, Greer will appear in a pair of independent features that premiered at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival. In Malcolm Venville's comedy, "Henry's Crime," Greer will be seen opposite Keanu Reeves, Vera Farmiga and James Caan. She will also be in Barry Blaustein's "Peep World,"
opposite Michael C. Hall, Sarah Silverman, Kate Mara and Rainn Wilson.
Greer was most recently seen in Magnolia Pictures' "Barry Munday," opposite Patrick Wilson, Malcolm McDowell, Chloe Sevigny and Colin
Hanks; and "Love and Other Drugs," with Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal for director Ed Zwick. Her additional film credits include
Fox's "Marmaduke"; Universal's "Love Happens," with Jennifer Aniston and Aaron Eckhart; "Visioneers," opposite Zach Galifianakis; "The
Go-Getter," with Zooey Deschanel and Jena Malone; "27 Dresses," opposite Katherine Heigl and James Marsden; "The TV Set," with Sigourney Weaver and David Duchovny; "American Dreamz," with Hugh Grant and Mandy Moore; "The Amateurs," with Jeff Bridges; Cameron Crowe's "Elizabethtown"; M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village"; "13 Going On 30"; writer/director Adam Goldberg's psychological drama, "I Love Your Work" (debuted at the 2003 Toronto Film Festival); "The Hebrew Hammer" (debuted at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival); Charlie Kaufman's
critically-acclaimed "Adaptation"; "The Wedding Planner"; "What Women Want"; Danny Leiner's "The Great New Wonderful" (2005 Tribeca Film
Festival); "What Planet Are You From?"; "Three Kings"; "Jawbreaker"; "In Memory Of My Father"; "The Specials" and "Kissing A Fool," among others.
In addition to her role on MAD LOVE, Greer can be heard as the voice of Wendy on Nickelodeon's animated series, "Glenn Martin, DDS," as well as the voice of Cheryl on the animated series, "Archer." Her previous television appearances have included "Miss Guided," "Modern Family," "House, M.D," "ER," "My Name Is Earl," "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia," "Californication," "Arrested Development," and on the Network, "Love Monkey," "How I Met Your Mother," "The Big Bang Theory" and "Two and A Half Men."
On stage, Greer starred in Paul Weitz's play, "Show People," for Second Stage opposite Ty Burrell.
Greer was born and raised in Detroit. She trained for nearly 10 years in classical Russian ballet and then shifted her interest to acting and was accepted into Chicago's prestigious "The Theatre School" at DePaul University.
Currently, she resides in Los Angeles. Her birth date is July 20.
A Review from Variety
Posted: Sun., Feb. 13, 2011, 7:41pm PT
(Series, CBS, Mon. Feb. 14, 8:30 p.m.)
By Brian Lowry
Filmed in Los Angeles by Two Soups and Fanfare in association with CBS Television Studios and Sony Pictures Television. Executive producers, Matt Tarses, Jamie Tarses, co-executive producers, Rob Des Hotel, Rob Sheridan; supervising producers, Corey Nickerson, Adrian Wenner; producers, Jason Biggs, Peter Kiernan, Jay Kleckner; director, Pamela Fryman; writer, Matt Tarses.
With: Jason Biggs, Sarah Chalke, Tyler Labine, Judy Greer, Rachel Boston, MiguelA. Nunez Jr., Sarah Wright.
In the Katherine Heigl-Josh Duhamel romantic comedy "Life as We Know It," a couple dies and leaves custody of their child jointly to their respective best friends, who can't stand each other. "Mad Love" dials that premise back several steps, to the meet-cute origins of a love affair (at the Empire State Building, no less) and mismatched friends thrown together by it. Tonally compatible with "How I Met Your Mother" -- down to a walking, fast-talking id character, played by Tyler Labine -- the show and its cast have potential, though there's nothing in the pilot to be mad about.
A New York attorney, Ben ("American Pie's" Jason Biggs) is just extricating himself from a go-nowhere relationship when he's struck by the proverbial thunderbolt upon meeting Kate ("Scrubs'" Sarah Chalke), who admits to throwing herself into such things too quickly. Their arranged double-date with his buddy/co-worker Larry (Labine), who narrates the proceedings, and her nanny friend Connie (Judy Greer), instantly goes awry when the latter duo accidentally meet beforehand and are immediately at odds.
Of course, if Ben and Kate become a long-term item, that means Larry and Connie will be around each other a lot, too. Yet as the narration freely implies, can Larry and Connie blossom into a relationship of their own, if not as effortlessly and romantically as their pals? There's the suspense, such as it is, in a half-hour that otherwise hews toward the comfortingly predictable.
Created by Matt Tarses (who produces along with his sister, Jamie), "Mad Love" offers the well-traveled Labine another vehicle as the equivalent of "Mother's" Barney, getting all the best lines and put-downs -- a guy with no pretense of finding Ms. Right, only Miss (Possibly Impaired) Right Now. "So you just kind of gave up and went with the bangs, huh?" he says dryly to Connie.
It's pleasant enough, but has the potential to stand out only in the manner and pace at which Connie and Larry unspool, without the fairy-tale sparks enjoyed by Ben and Kate. There's also a promising supporting player in Connie's rich employer, Tiffany (Sarah Wright), who is horrified by the thought of watching her own children, without having Connie to do it for her.
CBS -- which, thanks to Charlie Sheen's antics, won't have as many original "Two and a Half Men" episodes behind "Mad Love" -- has certainly gotten considerable mileage out of "Mother," which has kept dangling "Who's mom?" clues for years, until it's almost beside the point. That said, it's hard to see what would bring Connie and Larry together short of Ben and Kate marrying, having a baby, abruptly dying in a tragic accident, and designating them as custodians.
Then again, maybe they'll save all that for Season Two.
Camera, Tony Yarlett; production designer, Steve Olson; editor, Timothy Mozer; music, John Swihart; casting, Anya Colloff, Amy McIntyre Britt. 30 MIN.
A Review from The New York Times
Looking for Ms. Right, Online and in Sitcomland
By GINIA BELLAFANTE
Published: February 14, 2011
In honor of Valentine’s Day I devote this review to new television about love, or more specifically to new television about how people get together in our crazy, frenetic, high-tech, isolating, fat-fearing world. As it is succinctly explained in “When Strangers Click,” an absorbing documentary about Internet dating (to be shown Monday on HBO2), women are terrified of meeting serial killers online; men are terrified of meeting women of above-average weight.
Network television is, of course, as averse to physical imperfection in women as a high-rolling bond trader scouring happy hour. “Mike & Molly,” the CBS comedy about an obese couple who are fighting the good fight against chocolate frosting every day, has been a rare exception to TV’s relentless advocating for size 2. But as if to repeal that act of political correctness and remind us that CBS is, after all, Charlie Sheen’s employer, the network now has “Mike & Molly” sharing company on Monday nights with the lazily titled new arrival, “Mad Love.”
From what I can tell after a single episode this is a comedy about an average guy who dumps his perfectly attractive girlfriend for a hotter one in a tighter dress. The guy, Ben (Jason Biggs), meets his upgrade, Kate (Sarah Chalke), on top of the Empire State Building and then pursues her without first going through the tried-and-true protocol of breaking up with the incumbent.
This would be entirely inoffensive if Ben were meant to be remotely rakish. But instead he is portrayed as a soulful searcher of low-grade mind meld. I say low-grade because he isn’t looking for someone who shares an interest in Civil War diaries and Leviticus, but rather someone who could sit down with some Doritos and imagine fights between Batman and Superman. Apparently the kind of companion Ben really wants is an 11-year-old boy with breast implants. As it is, he’s continually flanked by a fake-Zach Galifianakis best friend (played by Tyler Labine) whose contentious banter with Kate’s BFF (the appealing Judy Greer) means another schlub is destined to be dating way above his pay grade.
“When Strangers Click” offers a far more nuanced and enlightened view of romantic coupling, one that examines the fatalism and insecurity that single people carry with them when they’re trying to find someone. Online or off, a ferocious will and a forced optimism are required to remain in the game. One of the women showcased here tells of having been stood up outside a church for one Internet date, but she perseveres. Her wish is simply to meet a man who lives in the New York metropolitan region. What she finds is a man in Prague who writes her e-mails like: “My love I miss on you. I like supper at candles.”
The stories related in “When Strangers Click” take unexpected and often inspiring turns. But the one most representative of the age concerns two people — an overweight young woman in rural Missouri and a much older man, an aspiring rock star, living on an archipelago in Sweden — who meet and maintain a relationship as well-toned avatars in the virtual world of “Second Life.”
Reserving judgment, the film beautifully explores the poignant nature of their ambivalence toward solitude, using the couple to examine a fear of intimacy in extremis. You can imagine the heads of therapists around the country shaking as they observe love transpiring under such obfuscating circumstances. But love is always an act in the beginning, an exchange of role plays. The message here is that honesty can flourish, even in performance.
CBS, Monday nights at 8:30, Eastern and Pacific times; 7:30, Central time.
Produced by Sony Pictures Television in association with CBS Television Studios. Created and written by Matt Tarses; directed by Pamela Fryman; Mr. Tarses and Jamie Tarses, executive producers; Rob DesHotel and Rob Sheridan, co-executive producers; Corey Nickerson and Adrian Wenner, supervising producers.
WITH: Jason Biggs (Ben Parr), Sarah Chalke (Kate Swanson), Tyler Labine (Larry Munsch) and Judy Greer (Connie Grabowski).
WHEN STRANGERS CLICK
Five Stories From the Internet
HBO2, Monday night at 9, Eastern and Pacific times; 8, Central time.
Directed by Robert Kenner; Mr. Kenner, Marc N. Weiss and Melissa Robledo, producers; Don Lenzer, Jay Redmond and Chris Baron, cinematographers; Leonard Feinstein, editor. For HBO: Sheila Nevins, executive producer; Lisa Heller, supervising producer.
A Review from USA TODAY
'Mad Love' has its heart not quite in the right place
By Robert Bianco, USA TODAY
Heartbreakingly enough, "bland" is the best you can expect from Mad Love (CBS, Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET/PT, * * out of four), a mediocre example of TV's most overworked, underproductive sitcom subset, the romantic comedy. It's as if the whole TV universe were obsessed with replicating Rules of Engagement, a show that didn't need to be made once, let alone multiple times in multiple variations.
This time, rather than the now genre-standard three couples, we get only two — which I guess counts as progress.
Ben and Kate (Jason Biggs and Sarah Chalke) are the cute couple who meet cute on top of the Empire State Building (and really, it doesn't get much cuter than that) and fall instantly in love.
Larry and Connie (Tyler Labine and Judy Greer) are Ben and Kate's respective best friends, who meet at a bar and instantly hate each other.
Assuming you've ever seen a sitcom, you've already figured out that Ben and Kate will almost immediately run into some romantic speed bumps. (Otherwise, there's no plot and no series, not that there's much of one now.)
Watch out for one of them, an overly officious ex for Ben, because her obstinate insistence in mangling the language is one of the pilot's funnier bits.
Unfortunately, there are two major problems with Ben and Kate's budding relationship. One is that those obstacles they must overcome are absurdly contrived, even by the generous standards of romantic fantasy.
And the other perhaps insurmountable problem is that both characters and both performances are dull almost beyond endurance.
Thanks to Scrubs, we know Chalke can do better work. Thanks to American Pie, we know Biggs can do, well, bigger work. But there are too few signs tonight that either one is going to do so here.
That throws all the comic weight on Labine and Greer. There's no doubt they can carry it: Their insult duels, which are generally better delivered than they are written, are the best thing about the show.
But funny supporting characters can't really make up for a hole in a show's center, which is something CBS should have learned by now from How I Met Your Mother.
Which really makes you wonder why they aren't the show's center. That might not work, either (in particular, it's possible that Labine is best in support doses). But at least a show built around two difficult, flawed, funny people finding love might stick out from the pretty-but-dull crowd, and might have a shot at being something better than bland.
And wouldn't we love that.
A Review from The LA Times
Television review: 'Mad Love'
New sitcom revolves around a typical besotted couple, but their best friends are worth watching.
Sitcom pilots are almost always stagy and awkward. So much to do (introduce the characters, spill a little back story, insert tension and give the audience a taste of what the real show will be like) and so little time. The actors are nervous, the sets so new you can smell the paint, and the writers have inevitably hung on to some bit of business that was the heart and soul of the original idea but should have been excised during the fifth rewrite.
That said, a sitcom pilot does not have to be as stagy and awkward as the premiere of Matt Tarses' "Mad Love," which may set new records for taking a quartet of talented actors and making them do and say things no living human would ever think of doing or saying.
There are fireworks, people. In the pilot. Seen from the top of the Empire State building. And this isn't satire.
No, it's a voice-over-using but otherwise standard issue network rom-com in which an adorably neurotic guy, Ben (Jason Biggs), meets an adorably neurotic gal, Kate (Sarah Chalke), in an adorably improbable way (Ben goes up to the top of the Empire State Building to figure out his feelings for his controlling girlfriend; Kate finds his cellphone. Fireworks commence). There are miscues and obstacles (that terrible girlfriend for one) and, more important, the damaged but indispensable best friends. Ben's got slacker-sage Larry (Tyler Labine) and Kate's got world-weary Connie (Judy Greer.)
Who are, predictably, the best things about the show.
That's become something of a job description for both Labine (terrific in "Reaper" and the short-lived "Sons of Tucson") and Greer (last seen doing her best in "Miss Guided") so it's difficult not to root for "Mad Love" if only because it would be nice to see these two on a regular basis. Certainly they are a funhouse-mirror match-up — Greer's angular and defensive contemptuousness plays perfectly against Labine's endomorphic life scholarship.
Among the absurdity — Kate and Ben not only insist that their BFFs accompany them on their first "date," they won't release them from the let's-go-back-to-my-place follow up — there are glimmers of hope. When all seems lost, Larry enlists Connie's help in getting the two back together with an unexpectedly touching and narratively insightful speech. "I learned a pretty long time ago that I am not going to be the hero of the story," he says. "And if I even want to be in the story, I have one of two options: I can either help the hero or try to destroy him."
OK, it's not Chekhov or even "How I Met Your Mother," to which it will inevitably be compared, but it's a lot better than the I'll-do-anything-for-pizza jokes that precede it.
Unfortunately, much of the action revolves around Ben and Kate, who are totally boring in the way the inexplicably besotted so often are. There is a chance that they, and the writers, will kick it up a few notches and start playing at Labine and Greer's level — Tarses co-produced "Scrubs" and "Sports Night," after all. But a sitcom cannot live on B-plot alone; second bananas only work if there's a decent main course. Or they get promoted to first bananas.
A Review from The Boston Globe
‘Mad Love’ is a romance off to a rocky start
February 14, 2011|Matthew Gilbert, Globe Staff
In the first moments of CBS’s new sitcom “Mad Love,’’ you may feel like you’re watching a spoof of “How I Met Your Mother.’’ “Mad Love’’ star Jason Biggs looks remarkably similar to Josh Radnor of “HIMYM,’’ and the show’s voice-over — “Do you believe in fairy tales?’’ — recalls the “HIMYM’’ father talking to his kids. And then there’s Sarah Chalke, who was on “HIMYM,’’ against a New York backdrop.
Two slapping scenes later, you know you’ve entered the not-so-wonderful world of network TV cloning. “Mad Love,’’ which premieres tonight at 8:30 on Channel 4, is so clearly modeled after “HIMYM,’’ which precedes it, that you may find yourself waiting for Barney to appear at the show’s bar. The romantic tones of the two sitcoms — love as fate — are almost identical. As if anxious about the fact that “HIMYM,’’ now in its sixth season, can’t go on much longer, CBS is trying to extend the magic with a copycat.
I get it, because “How I Met Your Mother’’ is one of my favorite sitcoms. There are a lot worse shows out there to emulate. But based on tonight’s premiere, “Mad Love’’ is much too familiar to fully enjoy. You may find yourself wondering if the show was created cynically, without inspiration, simply to match the shows around it and fill out a Monday night comedy block.
It’s too bad, because I don’t think “Mad Love’’ was born in a factory. There’s a lot of promise in the series, which was developed by Matt Tarses, whose credits include “Scrubs’’ and “Sports Night.’’ The concept involves four New Yorkers, two who are falling in love and two who hate each other in that sparky might-be-love kind of way. Biggs and Chalke are Ben and Kate, who meet on the top of the Empire State Building — very “An Affair to Remember’’ — and feel an instant charge. As they pursue their attraction, his friend Larry (Tyler Labine) and her friend Connie (Judy Greer) toss insults at each other. Her: “Are you happy with your beard?’’ Him: “Are you happy with yours?’’
The casting is excellent. Biggs projects enough sincerity to be a guy ready to find the love of his life, and Chalke is, as always, frenetic and endearing. They make a likable romantic pair, and Labine (from “Reaper’’) and Greer are nicely in synch as the secondary and more overtly comic characters. Labine, by the way, delivers the voice-over; the story is told from Larry’s slightly warped perspective. Another character, Tiffany (Sarah Wright) lurks on the periphery — she’s the helpless mother of two for whom Connie is the nanny — and she made me laugh.
If “Mad Love’’ pushes toward a more distinctive identity and grows beyond TV’s standard two-couple romantic situations, there may be hope. And in the grim world of network comedy, hope isn’t a bad place to start.
For a Page dedicated to Mad Love go to http://timvp.com/madlove.html
For a Website dedicated to sarah Chalke go to http://www.sarah-chalke.com/
For The Official site of Tyler Labine go to http://thetylerlabine.com/
For a Website dedicated to Judy Greer go to http://jrr_frodo.tripod.com/judygreerfansite/
To listen to the theme song of Mad Love go to http://www.televisiontunes.com/Mad_Love.html
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Keywords: Mad Love Cast