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Love, Inc. aired from September 2005 until September 2006 on UPN.


Love ,Inc., was a Manhattan dating service for men and women looking for true love but unable to find it on their own. For a $500 fee clients were provided with possible matches , coached on how to act on their dates, and advised on how to manage their relationships. The staff even went to clubs and restaurants with their clients to help them make connections. Clea ( Holly Robinson Peete), the stylish founder and owner of Love, Inc. , was looking for love herself since her nine-year marriage had recently ended and she hadn't had a date in eight months. Early on she started dating David ( Rick Fox), but their relationship had its ups and downs. Chatterbox Denise ( Busy Phillips), Clea's top assistant, was much better at finding matches for clients than for herself-she had a knack for finding losers or guys with whom there was no future. Also on staff at Love ,Inc. were bubbly Francine and geeky Barry ( Reagan Gomez-Preston, Vince Vieluf), who regularly went to restaurants with clients ( as " wingpersons") and Latan spitfire Viviana ( Ion Overman), the office receptionist who planned to get her green card by marrying an American.


A Review from Variety


Love, Inc.
(Series -- UPN, Thurs. Sept. 22, 8:30 p.m.)
By LAURA FRIES


Filmed in Los Angeles by Chase TV, the Littlefield Co. and Berg/Koules Television in association with Paramount Network Television. Executive producers, Adam Chase, Warren Littlefield, Mark Burg, Oren Koules; co-executive producers, Andrew Secunda, Maggie Bandur; producers, Laurie Parres, Mark H. Ovitz; director, Rob Schiller; writer, Secunda.

Denise - Busy Philipps
Barry - Vince Vieluf
Francine - Reagan Gomez-Preston
Viviana - Ion Overman
Clea - Holly Robinson Peete

Dating services thrive on the premise that there is somebody out there for everyone. "Love, Inc.," an affable new sitcom from UPN, is a nice match for viewers hankering for a feel-good laugh or two. But if the Thursday night TV schedule were a dating pool, "Love, Inc." would be the proverbial old maid.
Up against ratings behemoths like "CSI" and "The Apprentice," "Love, Inc." is the sole comedy in its timeslot. NBC has "Night Stalker," UPN's got "Everwood," and Fox is holding on with the ho-hum "Reunion." Unless viewers are willing to look outside their three-network comfort zone and forgo the usual inertia, chances for a long-term relationship with "Love, Inc." seem slim.


Series debuts with a quirky vibe, personable cast and snappy writing from former Conan O'Brien scribe Andrew Secunda. "Love, Inc." is a big-city dating service, the brainchild of Clea (Holly Robinson Peete), a savvy businesswoman who has promoted her company on the basis of a successful nine-year marriage. Suffice it to say that by the end of the first episode, that PR campaign is scrapped when her hubby ditches her for a much younger woman.


To get herself back into the dating world, she enlists the help of friend and co-worker Denise (Busy Philipps), a bubbly single gal who excels at counseling others in the art of wooing while her own love life remains a shambles. Denise is a pro at dating -- it's the relationship part that gives her trouble.


Denise, "the Kung Fu master at setting up freaks," doesn't follow "The Rules," but she's not going to win feminist of the year either: Her advice includes such pearls as what is acceptable to eat on a date (for women, it's practically nothing), Kenny Rogers music is always a mistake, and a cell phone with a "Star Wars" ring tone is the kiss of death.


In fact, everyone in the office pitches in: Francine (Reagan Gomez-Preston) offers style advice (she tells Clea her outfit says, "I coach women's basketball"), Barry (Vince Vieluf) works the tech angle and offers head-scratching non sequiturs while Viviana (Ion Overman) the receptionist solicits personal information in a rather startling way.


But Clea's reluctance to get back in the game is the least of Denise's problems. When Denise's old college flame shows up as a new client, she mistakenly thinks he's there just to win her back.


As Denise, Philipps creates a nice blend of daffiness and neurosis for the character -- a seemingly better choice than Shannen Doherty, who was originally considered for the role.


Robinson Peete is a good "straight man" to Denise, delivering the laughs without the physical muggings, and the two share a nice rapport.


Supporting perfs veer toward the stereotypical or at the very least smack of the bawdy and politically incorrect humor like that of "Will & Grace's" Karen, although not as well executed.


The modern dating scene is a veritable gold mine of material, and one has to hope Secunda taps into fresher stuff if he wants to attract the fickle eye of the TV viewer.


A Review from The New York Times


TV Review | 'Love, Inc.'
Matchmaker, Matchmaker


By VIRGINIA HEFFERNAN
Published: September 22, 2005


Except for collectors of pitiful nightclub scenes - the sitcom kind, with music dubbed later, in which everyone tunelessly shuffles around in an overlighted room - "Love, Inc." is unlikely to captivate anyone. This UPN comedy, which has its premiere tonight, was originally conceived as a vehicle for Shannen Doherty, but after filming a pilot and finding the results unfunny, the network dropped Ms. Doherty and reshot with Busy Philipps of "Dawson's Creek." Without the freaky, capricious Ms. Doherty, the show has lost its negligible reason for being.



Set among the dating coaches and wingwomen of a Manhattan yenta outfit called Love, Inc., the show is meant to be character-driven: each figure at the agency is drawn in simple strokes. There's pretty Clea (Holly Robinson Peete), who owns the place; she's a yuppie - according to one of her hipper employees, she dresses as if she coached women's basketball - in the midst of a divorce. That hipper worker is Francine (Reagan Gomez-Preston), who is sassy. Viviana (Ion Overman) is an Argentine looking for an American husband so she can get a green card. The joke seems overplayed from the first time she delivers it.


There's also Barry (Vince Vieluf), a slackery dude with way-out ideas about conspiracies involving dentists and toothpaste companies. He's the only man here, and apparently his slacker style neuters him, since he enjoys sexual tension with no one.


But it's Ms. Philipps as Denise, Clea's right-hand woman, whose show it is to carry. Her lank hair now auburn, Ms. Philipps has a sexless voice and an awkward, neurotic physicality. In the first shot of her - coaching a hapless dater in an unconvincing nightclub - she looks neither alluring nor authoritative; in fact, she could have been the bad date, and the dopey guy her tutor.


At her best, Denise comes across as a smug fix-it type, like the unforgettable Cher Horowitz in "Clueless." Unfortunately, she's not adorable enough. She's supposed to be able to solve with dispatch the problems of the lovelorn - including her longed-for ex-boyfriend, whose appearance at the agency sets off the plot of this first episode - but she seems unfocused and unimaginative. Honestly, it's hard to imagine being attracted to her (though by the episode's end, someone is), let alone hiring her to supply rules of attraction.


The writing on "Love, Inc." is unsparkly and sometimes labored. Occasionally, as in the spiels of the slacker Barry, someone in the writers' room seems inspired to write a real riff. (It seems as if that writer wished he or she were working for a less girly show.) Otherwise it's one-liners and a laugh track, the same old formula. On this show, as on so many comedies, this exhausted structure just produces the melancholy bad-sitcom effect: people pacing around sets that are too bright, trying to dance to beats that we can no longer hear.


Love, Inc.


UPN, tonight at 9:30, Eastern and Pacific times; 8:30, Central time.


Createdand written by Andrew Secunda; Rob Schiller, director; Adam Chase, Warren Littlefield, Mark Burg and Oren Koules, executive producers; Mr. Secunda and Maggie Bandur, co-executive producers; Robert Peacock, supervising producer; Michael Curtis, consulting producer; Laurie Parres, producer. Produced by Mark H. Ovitz. Produced by Chase TV, The Littlefield Company, Berg/Koules in association with Paramount Network Television.


WITH: Busy Philipps (Denise), Vince Vieluf (Barry), Reagan Gomez-Preston (Francine), Ion Overman (Viviana) and Holly Robinson Peete (Clea).


A Review of Love, Inc.


LOVE, INC.
Regular airtime: Thursdays, 9:30pm ET (UPN)
Cast: Busy Phillips, Holly Robinson Peete, Reagan Gomez-Preston, Ion Overman, Vince Vieluf
by Todd R. Ramlow
Love Stinks


The best that can be said about Love, Inc. is that UPN has a most excellent musical licensing agreement. Scene changes feature New York cityscapes backgrounded with music like the Black Eyed Peas' "Don't Phunk with My Heart," and Kelis' "Milkshake." These cues aim for an "urban," black-white audience, a nice try at crossover for a network whose shows usually target a black demographic. The sound is pleasant and generally hip.


Unfortunately, Love, Inc. is boringly un-hip. It tells the stories of a New York dating service named "Wing Woman," a strangely masculine and militaristic name. Worse, it's unwieldy, especially when Denise (Busy Phillips, so excellent as Audrey on Dawson's Creek) remarks at one point, "I've been wing-womaning my butt off."


Like Sex and the City, Love, Inc. features a quartet of single women in the Big Apple, each with her own issue. Viviana (Ion Overman) is the Latina whose only interest in any given man extends as far as whether he's single and holds U.S. citizenship: she wants a green card. The office boss, Clea (Holly Robinson Peete), has just been dumped by the husband she met via Wing Woman and is getting back into the dating pool. Denise is getting tired of the business, remarking at one point, "I've been Wing Womaning my butt off." And Francine (Reagan Gomez-Preston) remains a bit of a mystery.


As Clea points out, after Denise declares herself an "expert" on relationships, it's strange then that she can set up all these lovelorn men, yet not keep one herself. The point is driven home in the premiere, which sees the return of Denise's college boyfriend. She thinks he's sought her out after long last, explaining to her friends that, while their relationship was great for a while he left her for another woman. Why she'd be excited then to see him reenter her life is anyone's guess. It turns out that the appearance is coincidental; he's just looking for a dating service. Despite the awkwardness, Denise decides to remain his contact person at Wing Woman, and then spends the rest of the episode making passive-aggressive remarks. She does ultimately rise about her own pettiness and secures a compatible mate for the ex, but we have to endure a series of terminally unfunny anecdotes about her insecurities beforehand.


If it's trying to emulate Sex and the City, Love, Inc. misses the fact that that show presented us with complex characters from the get-go; here the single women are all pretty much one-shtick ponies. What's worse, even though Sex did pretty much wrap up its single gals tidily in committed heterosexual romance by the end of the series, it nevertheless took a long time getting there, affording Carrie and company plenty of time to ruminate and act on their independence and power. The gals on Love, Inc., on the other hand, start off as needy and desperate as the sad sack clients of Wing Woman.



To watch clips of Love, Inc. go to https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Love%2CInc+tv+series


For UPN's Official Love Inc. Webpage go to https://web.archive.org/web/20060909085421/http://www.upn.com/shows/love_inc/about.shtml


To read a CNN Interview with Holly Robinson Peete go to http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0509/21/sbt.01.html



For Holly Robinson Peete's MySpace page go to http://www.myspace.com/hollyrobinsonpeete
Date: Tue August 8, 2006 � Filesize: 16.4kb � Dimensions: 211 x 303 �
Keywords: Love,Inc.

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