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Alyson Hannigan

Alyson Hannigan Pilot Report

By Veggiebelle

Wednesday 31 March 2004, by cally

Alyson Hannigan Pilot Report I just got home - I’m back from Los Angeles after the big pilot-viewing trip. We found out just before we left that the time had changed from 7:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. - yipes! - but we just made it there in the nick of time, even with some rather nasty traffic.

Anyway, here’s what happened.

Alyson Hannigan was just adorable. Truly. I wish that I could have brought in a camera so I could show you all. Her hair is a little shorter than before - just past shoulder-length, and she looks great. She also looked right at home in sitcom-land. It seemed like she was having a blast - there was one point that she was making faces through the window at her co-star. There was also a moment in the show in which she had to look broken-hearted, and really, who can pull that off better than she can?

For all you Friends fans out there (honestly, I’ve never seen an entire episode myself), David Schwimmer was the director of the pilot. He spoke to the audience for a short while, and he seemed very nice and glad that the small crowd was present.

This was a run-through only - no costume changes, they were still on book, and they only used one camera instead of the usual four. And, although I am not fond of sitcoms as a rule, I found the show to be genuinely funny. The actual pilot taping will be Friday night (unless the schedule changes again).

Officially, the pilot is being called "Untitled Tarses/Wrubel project." I’ve heard it called "Home & Hardware" at times during the last few weeks, but it was referred to as "Americana" tonight. Both names come from the name of the company that Alyson Hannigan’s character, Andrea, works for, "Americana Home & Hardware." It’s basically a Restoration Hardware. In fact, Andrea seems so much of a company girl that the set of her apartment is that same gray-green you see at Restoration Hardware stores in malls.

It amused me greatly that a "magic box" and the words "the chosen one" both were a part of the show. Seriously - I couldn’t make this stuff up.

There were two things that I didn’t like about the pilot - well, two characters, really: Andrea’s assistant and the Shipping and Receiving guy. Both were nothing more than overdone nerd caricatures. The S&R character’s personality was in essence a Rick Moranis impression. I can only hope that they’ll improve, flesh out, or tone down these characters.

You want plot? I got your plot right here. STOP READING THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED. Welcome to Boston, despite that they’re filming in Southern California. We first see Andrea alone in her office, rehearsing what she’ll say to her boss (whose name I think was Chris), who, we learn, she’d just gotten a little too friendly with. Yes, we’re talking The Sex. The speech centers around why continuing this is a bad idea, but it’s clear that she has a huge crush on him and that her heart’s not in ending it. The rehearsal goes badly, as a talk that centers around "salt" is prone to doing, and she ends the "rehearsal" by throwing herself down on the table. Her assistant walks in on this scene, and Andrea confides in her what happened. The Boss comes in in the middle of this, and Andrea barely gets a teensy bit of her speech out before her boss invites himself over to her apartment for dinner and to "work on the new catalog." Switch to her apartment. We meet her 12-year-old neighbor, who sees himself as the man of the house. We also meet her dog, Bean. There’s a knock on the door, and when she opens the door... Nope, not her boss. It’s her estranged brother, Ben (Michael Landes). With a fiancee! Wow! There is the celebratory reunion, complete with the almost-giving of the Ring of the Grandmother, until we learn that the fiancee is a fake and that Ben was just trying to get the ring for a "business venture." Bad Ben. In the midst of this. Bossman cancels the big date. Bad Bossman. The next day, Ben comes by to visit Andrea at work, and they have a Sweet Sibling Moment on the Seesaw. Yes, a seesaw. It’s cute. Anyway, due to a wacky set of circumstances, Bossman offers Ben a job. Bossman is also avoiding Andrea. Not good. Later, in Andrea’s apartment, Andrea accuses Ben of being a slacker and a flake, and Ben accuses Andrea of being a phony who forgot who she was (and it sounds like she was a wacky, sweet nerd... sound familiar?). Ben even uses an old magic trick of hers, a Magic Box, as a visual aid. Back at the office, it’s presentation time for new products, and the wacky billionaire owner is there to see it, along with his daughter who, we learn, just got engaged to Bossman. Audience gasps, Andrea looks crushed. Ben happens to be there and saves the day by giving her inspiration on a new product - yep, that same old magic box. At the end of the day, Ben’s about to leave the apartment, and we find out that he had no business venture, but instead he has a rather large gambling debt. Okay, a huge gambling debt. Andrea asks him to stay and take the job that was offered to him. Sitcom premise established. The End.

So, there we go. I wish I could go up for the pilot taping later this week, but I’m glad that I saw it (thanks to airawyn for setting this up!). They said that this pilot already has "buzz", and that it has a good chance of being picked up. If so, it would start shooting in August.