tek's rating:

Downward Dog, on ABC
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This is based on a webseries of the same name, which I didn't see until after I'd seen a couple episodes of the TV series. There are some changes from the original, including a new actress (Allison Tolman) playing Nan, and a different dog playing Martin (though the same actor provides his voice in both series). And the fact that Nan is actually a major character on the TV show, and we get to see (and hear) what her life is like away from Martin. But the premise of Martin the dog waxing philosophic while addressing the camera as if his life were a documentary remains the same. (But of course, even though we can hear Martin's thoughts, none of the people on the show can.)

Throughout the season, there's an ongoing plotline in which Nan comes up with an advertising campaign at her job, which was inspired by her dog's unconditional love for her. Her boss, Kevin, doesn't really understand or like her idea, but his own superior does. Nan also has a coworker named Jenn (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), who is her best friend. And she has an on-again, off-again romantic relationship/friendship with a guy named Jason. There's also a cat named Pepper, who lives across the street from Nan and Martin, whom Martin believes is evil. Anyway, I did like getting to know Nan and what her life was like professionally and personally, as well as in relation to Martin. But Martin's thoughts are still the most important and entertaining part of the show. It really is interesting to see things from his perspective, and just how much he misunderstands about the world, about humans, about himself, and about the relationship between humans and dogs (not to mention other animals). But it's also interesting that he gets some things right. The show is fairly amusing, but it's also more serious than you might expect, with some genuinely heartfelt drama. And I guess that's all I can think to say.

The series was cancelled after one season of eight episodes, at which point I had to decide where to put my review. Ultimately I went with "quirky," just because it's the choice I'm the least uncomfortable with. I also considered "comedy" or "dramedy," or maybe "too something" (although I'm trying not to put any more shows there). Or I could have called it a "limited series," since it was only one (quite short) season.

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