Loosely Exactly Nicole is a new sitcom running on MTV. Although it is said to have been created by Christian Lander and Christine Zander, the story is putatively a fairly accurate representation of a slice of comedian Nicole Byer’s early adult life. Nicole Byer is a comedian who has worked as a standup comic and quickly made her way to small parts on other cable television sitcoms. With a strong and vibrant personality, it’s not too difficult to see her getting her own program. This is no first season of Seinfeld or King of Queens, where the first season sees mostly awkward interactions between cast members trying to find their footing. Thanks to Byer’s ample supply of confidence, #LooselyExactlyNicole hits the ground running from the very first episode.
As for the show’s content, it is what you’d expect from any sitcom of today. Discussions on sex and relationships dominate over everything else. The current social rules of relationships, the nature of love and lust, and the pain of rejection take center stage in the lives of the characters. This is all handled with comedic flare and the conclusions are more simple and convenient than realistic, but for a half-hour comedy on MTV, a typical viewer isn’t expecting any philosophical breakthroughs.
A minor part of the show is devoted to the friendship between Nicole and her pair of close friends. One is Devin, a gay guy with a very similar personality to Nicole. The other is Veronica, a serious and career-driven woman who serves as the oft-ignored rational foil to Nicole’s naïve and silly character. Veronica’s down-to-earth approach to life usually turns out to be the best approach by the end of the show, although it’s not acknowledged too directly. This is lost on Nicole, of course, who lives in the spirit of carpe diem.
The third pillar of Loosely Exactly is the life of a starving actor in Los Angeles. Nicole deals with the hardships of scaling up the ladder of the entertainment industry. The rat race against other aspiring actors in an over-saturated market is another part of the story that squeezes in some screen time between Byer’s sexual escapades. While it shows the ups and downs of show business, it doesn’t have the fatalistic eternal loser theme of Malcolm in the Middle. Rather, Nicole loses some, but in the end she usually comes up winning.
The show is nothing groundbreaking, but it has very strong characters with good chemistry. It seems that audiences tend to agree. Both IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes fans say it’s somewhere in the middle, with 60% of the Rotten Tomatoes fans liking it with an average rating of 6.0 out of 10 and IMDb users giving it a 5.0 out of 10.
Popularity with viewers seems to be excellent as well online. Those who like it greatly appreciate Byer’s comedic range. She is willing to make light of anything. Yet in characteristic fashion for MTV comedies, not many people have been tuning in to see it. The premiere had only about a third of a million views. In a worrisome move for fans, MTV also decided to switch the show from a late-night Monday timeslot to the Friday night death slot at around 10:00 PM. This move often signals the beginning of the end.
It’s a shame that MTV’s promotional capabilities are such that they cannot support the release of a decent comedy. The last episode of #LEN to air as of now received dismal ratings even by MTV standards, barely scraping together 150,000 viewers. Again, though, this is MTV, so these numbers might be acceptable to the former youth culture leader. Girl Code has been airing for 4 seasons now and it almost never breaks the one million viewer mark, so MTV seems to be fine with small portions.
The Friday night move might signal doom or it might be a calculated move by MTV’s executives. As of yet, the first season of the show only just finished airing, so we’ll have to wait a little longer.
What do you think of LEN? Who is your favorite character on the show? Who of the three friends do you think will be the first one to find true love? Give us your opinions down below.