There's usually a reason that midseason shows are saved for midseason. "October Road" is not an exception.
The show revolves around It Boy novelist Nick Garrett (Bryan Greenberg, "One Tree Hill"), who set off on a summer tour of Europe after high school graduation, but never returned home. He went to New York instead and, flashing forward 10 years, wrote a bestselling novel based on the people he left behind in his small hometown.
Suddenly Nick finds himself with a big case of writer's block. His solution: Try to prove that you can go home again. Nevermind that you'll have to face your reclusive father (Tom Berenger) and pothead brother, a best friend who's bitter about being unflatteringly portrayed in the novel and an ex-girlfriend who's crushed about being abandoned and who happens to have a son who's about to turn 10 years old.
Oh yes, let the TV drama clichés unroll.
Nick wonders if the kid (himself a TV cliché as a precocious, ten-dollar word-spouting moppet) is his, a mystery they'll draw out for as many episodes as the show airs, no doubt; Nick's best friend, Eddie (Geoff Stults, "7th Heaven"), never managed to chase any of his dreams, because, of course, he was so hurt by Nick's book; and, in addition to having a kid who may or may not be Nick's, his ex, Hannah ("That '70s Show" alum Laura Prepon), is now dating Nick's high school enemy.
The very likable castwhich is almost reason enough to tune in a couple of times during the short six-week seasonis weighed down with some truly vomit-inducing writing. Early on, when Eddie bursts in during Nick and Hannah's post-sex snuggling, Nick quips that they're experiencing "coitus Eddie-ruptus." He also spews deep thoughts like, "Once I stayed away, staying away became the way." Cringe.
Still, Greenberg, Stults and Prepon have good chemistry, and, all clichés aside, their performances are enough to sorta make you care if their characters will ever reconnect. Like we said, it's worth tuning in for a couple of episodes to find out.
"October Road" premieres Thursday, March 15 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times