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Then Came you aired from March until April 2000 on ABC.
Billie Thornton ( Susan Floyd) was a 33-year-old book editor and divorcee who moved into a fancy Chicago hotel and fell in love with a handsome young waiter in this May-December romantic comedy. Actually it was more like May-July, as Aidan ( Thomas Newton) was 22, only 11 years younger than she, but what a gulf, culterally and status-wise, it seemed to be to everyone. He had never even bought his music on vinyl! Billie's excitable friend Cheryl ( Miriam Shor) was dubious, and her ex, stuffy lawyer Lewis ( Colin Ferguson), downright disdainful ("Is this what you meant when you said you wanted children?"). More supportive were Adian's goofball buddy Ed ( Desmond Askew), who laughed a lot and traded barbs with Cheryl, and worldly dishwasher Manuel ( Winston J. Rochas). But Fluttery Billie and impulsive Aidan followed their dream despite the wisecracks (Ed: "She's an older woman." Aidan: " Stop saying that, I keep thinking Janet Reno").
Based on the real-life experience of writer Betsy Thomas, a divorcee who fell in love with a waiter at L.A.'s Chateau Marmont Hotel.
A Review from The New York Times
TELEVISION REVIEW; Room Service? One Romance,
By ANITA GATES
Published: March 22, 2000
The best television series, it seems, come from somebody's personal experience or vision. Like Linwood Boomer's growing up as the smart one in a rowdy four-boy household, which turned into ''Malcolm in the Middle.'' Or whatever it is that inspired Chris Carter to create ''The X-Files,'' about F.B.I. agents, conspiracies and extraterrestrials.
Tonight, viewers of the premiere of ABC's ''Then Came You'' will see a personal experience of Betsy Thomas, a creator and a co-executive producer of the show. After her divorce, Ms. Thomas moved into the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles and fell in love with her room service waiter. And that's exactly what happens to the show's heroine, Billie (Susan Floyd), a book editor with great hair. This, however, seems to be a case of life at its most sitcomish to begin with. When it's officially turned into comedy, the fact that it's real doesn't make it original.
In the first episode, Billie, who is 33, is in her hotel room celebrating her coming divorce. Just as her best female friend and her best gay male friend are suggesting friends of theirs she should go out with, room service arrives in the person of Aidan (Thomas Newton). Banter begins. Billie learns that both she and Aidan went to Northwestern. ''When did you graduate?'' she asks. He answers, ''May.''
Their first date happens almost by accident. That's the kind of man she needs, Billie says to her friends, laughing. ''He's funny. He's educated. He brings me things.'' And, Aidan quickly adds, ''He gets off at midnight.'' Then there's the equivalent of the happy-dating montage, this one to establish that the couple are having, as another character later summarizes, ''seven days of mind-bending sex.'' The rest is equally obvious. Billie announces that she's a changed woman. (''Until I met you, I was the kind of person who wouldn't go swimming until 30 minutes after I ate.'') She worries that he can't afford to take her to dinner, and he's offended. Her soon-to-be-ex-husband ridicules the relationship. (''Is that what you meant when you said you wanted children?'')
It's too bad that Ms. Thomas and her co-creator, Jeff Strauss, have made so many predictable choices. And that Ms. Floyd, while attractive and personable, is so unconvincing as a woman fresh from a loveless marriage who needs an awakening. The series also has a laugh track that goes wild over lines like ''Wow, that was -- thank you.''
On the plus side, Mr. Newton has considerable charm. And there is a lot of real humor to be mined from the older-woman-younger-man relationship. When Billie explains that she doesn't want to turn into Mrs. Robinson, Aidan says -- you guessed it -- ''Who?''
THEN CAME YOU
ABC, tonight at 8:30
(Channel 7 in New York)
A production of Jeff Strauss Productions in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television. Jeff Strauss, executive producer; Betsy Thomas and Barton Dean, co-executive producers; Jay Kleckner, producer.
WITH: Susan Floyd (Billie), Thomas Newton (Aidan), Miriam Shor (Cheryl), Desmond Askew (Ed) and Colin Ferguson (Lewis).
A Review from The New York Daily News
ABC SITCOM ' YOU' IS MOSTLY A YAWN
BY ERIC MINK
Wednesday, March 22th 2000, 2:12AM
THEN CAME YOU. Tonight, 8:30, ABC. 1 Star.
Truth may be stranger than fiction, but that doesn't mean it makes for rollicking entertainment. Take ABC's new sitcom, "Then Came You" - please.
It is inspired by the real-life story of co-executive producer Betsy Thomas, who two years ago got divorced, moved into a Los Angeles hotel and fell in love with a room-service waiter (actually an unemployed actor) who was seven years younger than herself.
In "Then Came You," 33-year-old book editor Billie (Susan Floyd), gets divorced, moves into a Chicago hotel and falls in love with Aidan (Thomas Newton), a room-service waiter 11 years younger than herself.
(Never mind that Floyd looks like a 27-year-old trying to look six years older and that Newton looks like a 27-year-old trying to look five years younger.)
Factually inspired or not, "Then Came You" emerges from TV's sitcom/sausage maker wearily familiar, its characters stamped out of cardboard and its situations drawn from a predictable playbook.
For example, Billie and Aidan each have wacky, wise-cracking buddies, also known as dopey sidekicks.
In Billie's case, it's randy best friend Cheryl (Miriam Shor). She gives Billie all manner of bad advice - which Billie, of course, follows. In Aidan's case, it's randy fellow waiter and fellow youth Ed (Desmond Askew). He gives Aidan all manner of bad advice - which Aidan, of course, follows.
As an added bonus, Ed is English and stupid and speaks with a Cockney accent in the futile hope that it will make his lines funny.
And, perhaps fearful of a potentially damaging wisecrack gap between their new show and its limp lead-in, "Two Guys and a Girl" , "Then Came You" co-creators Thomas and Jeff Strauss have included two additional regular characters for even more hilarity:
There's Billie's ex-husband, a lawyer named Lewis (played by Colin Ferguson), who's - guess what? - boring. And there's Manuel (played by Winston J. Rocha), the hotel-kitchen dishwasher who sounds funny because he has a thick Spanish accent but who's - guess what? - really the smartest guy in the show.
"Then Came You" was originally designated as a rookie on ABC's 1999 fall starting lineup, but it was yanked before its premiere and put on the (injured?) reserve list. At the time, the only episode that had been made available for review was the pilot, which was mainly a loosely organized collection of "older" woman, "younger" man sex jokes. It airs tonight.
ABC has since sent along three subsequent episodes: Episode two next week features - sigh - confusion over Billie's and Aidan's respective birthday gifts for each other. There are two nipple jokes. In episode three, one of Billie's friends gets married at the hotel, and Aidan - here's something we haven't seen before - falls into the wedding cake. Episode four smells like warmed over "Suddenly Susan."
At this point, it's hard to know for sure what ABC really thinks of or expects from "Then Came You."
Speculating on the inner thoughts of network programmers is only slightly safer than betting the family nest egg on commodities futures.
That said, this quacks like a spring burn-off.
A Review from The Post Gazette
TV Review: Derivative 'Then Came You' at least makes good brain candy
Wednesday, March 22, 2000
By Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor
"Then Came You" is the perfect companion series to "Two Guys and a Girl."
Both shows are amusing, but not laugh-out-loud funny. Both center on relationships. Both are unoriginal and break no new ground.
"Then Came You," premiering on ABC tonight at 8:30 immediately following "Two Guys and a Girl," was created by Betsy Thomas and Jeff Strauss and is based on Thomas' own experience divorcing her husband, moving into a hotel and falling in love with a younger hotel employee.
Billie (Susan Floyd), 33, leaves her dependable, trustworthy (i.e.: boring) husband Lewis (Colin Ferguson) and quickly falls for young pup Aidan (Thomas Newton). He's 22 and gets encouragement for his romance with an older woman from British buddy Ed (Desmond Askew).
"She's an older woman -- they don't play games, they don't have time," Ed says. "You're doing this for all of us."
Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.
The age difference between Billie and Aidan becomes a running joke instantly and, unfortunately, continues unabated in future episodes. How many funny lines are there about how he's younger (she imagines him as a 10-year-old searching for a Rugrats notebook) and she's older (he doesn't understand a reference to Mrs. Robinson in "The Graduate")?
"Then Came You" is fine if you just want to turn off your brain and watch TV. But viewers are unlikely to care about the characters. That is left to superior sitcoms, including "Friends," "Everybody Loves Raymond" and "Will & Grace."
The supporting characters are especially weak. Billie's friend, Cheryl (Miriam Shor), comes across as a shrew and a snob. It's easier to like Ed, but he's basically the same "lovable screw-up sidekick" we've seen dozens of times before.
Newton is well-cast as a twentysomething, alternately unsure (Does she really want me?) and overly confident (showing up for a formal date wearing a jean jacket).
As Billie, Floyd sometimes comes across as cold. It's tough to warm up to her, given the seeming ease with which she tosses aside her nice-guy husband in tonight's premiere.
Or maybe that's just this nice-guy TV critic over-identifying.
An Article from The Enquirer
Wednesday, March 22, 2000
'Then Came You' finally arrives
New show features Oak Hills grad Susan Floyd
BY JOHN KIESEWETTER
The Cincinnati Enquirer
You could forgive Susan Floyd for being bitter or angry last August when ABC pulled her Then Came You comedy from the fall lineup, a month before its scheduled debut. But she wasn't.
We were thrilled, said Ms. Floyd, the 1986 Oak Hills High School graduate whose sitcom finally premieres today (8:30 p.m., Channels 9, 2).
ABC had planned to air Then Came You, about her 30-something book editor falling madly in love with a 20-something hotel waiter, at 8:30 p.m. Thursday in September opposite NBC's powerful lineup.
The Thursday night time slot wasn't appropriate for us. We would have totally gotten lost, she said.
Or worse. Already, 21 shows have been canceled, including 16 new fall series, three returning shows and two midseason replacements. Only one new fall ABC series has survived, Sela Ward's Once and Again.
It was explained to me that ABC had more faith in our show than with Oh, Grow Up, or Odd Man Out (both canceled) or other shows. They were saving our show, and giving us the opportunity to make 13 episodes, instead of us worrying that we'd be yanked off the air in a few weeks.
By waiting until March, Then Came You can debut as the lone newcomer on Wednesday.
The bad news was that ABC scheduled only six episodes this spring, with Norm MacDonald's Norm returning for May sweeps. The remaining shows could air in summer.
All six were set in a Chicago hotel where Billie (Ms. Floyd), on the rebound from a nasty divorce, found a soul mate in Aidan (Thomas Newton), a room-service waiter. The comedy was written by former My So-Called Life writer Betsy Thomas, 33, who married a 22-year-old waiter last June.
As expected, the pilot has an obligatory reference to Mrs. Robinson and The Graduate. To which Aidan replied: Who's Mrs. Robinson?
Billie) is a very admirable and brave person who goes against what society expects. She's not worried about her age so much, as trying to figure out her passion, Ms. Floyd said.
It's a cute romantic comedy. I really had a fun time doing this show, although I know it sounds corny.
Since filming started in August, she has met many people in the same situation, older women married to younger men.
There's a complete double standard, which is really offensive when you think about it, she says by phone from her New York, where she moved after completing the 13 episodesbefore Christmas.
I had no problem playing Al Pacino's girlfriend in Chinese Coffee, but some people can't accept an older woman and a younger man.
Waiting nearly a year since making the ABC pilot has not been that frustrating to the actress. A feature film can take that long. She shot scenes as Al Pacino's girlfriend, for Chinese Coffee a year ago. The film still has no release date.
Ms. Floyd's first big break on ABC came as Christine Cromwell on One Life to Live in 1988, during her sophomore year at the University of Utah. It took nine years for her to return to ABC, as the soap opera writer who dated Spin City's Michael Flaherty (Michael J. Fox) in 1997.
She also has appeared in Breathing Room and with Harrison Ford in Random Hearts. Her stage credits include Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Ghost in the Machine, and Young Girl and the Monsoon. And she recently completed a guest shot on NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, playing a drug-addicted abused wife in New York, while waiting for ABC to launch Then Came You.
I understand the business, Ms. Floyd says. I've had many hills and valleys in my career. I'm a very patient person.
For more on Then Came You go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Then_Came_You_(TV_series)
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