Michael Slezak
December 12, 2006 AT 12:00 PM EST

In the interest of full disclosure, I haven’t watched an episode of ABC’s What About Brian since its pilot episode aired last April, and that’s because I thought it was screamingly awful. What’s more, my small seed of dislike for the series grew into an irrational hatred when ABC began aggressively promoting its second season with promos that centered on the exhausted cliché of Brian (Barry Watson, pictured) bursting in on his best friend’s wedding to try to win the bride’s heart. (I think it was the stupid single tear streaming down Sarah Lancaster’s cheek that sent me over the edge. In fact, I just realized I’ve got some residual rage to work through.)

Anyhow, last night, with seemingly everything in reruns, I thought to myself, “Self, What About Brian is produced by J.J. Abrams, the man who gave you the lasting gifts of Felicity, Lost, and Alias. Isn’t that reason enough to give Brian a second chance?” And that’s what I foolishly did.

addCredit(“Barry Watson: Ron Jaffe”)

PopWatchers, let me tell you: What About Brian sucks evenharder than it did six months ago. Granted, the title character hasmade some progress, graduating from making plays for his best friend’sgirlfriend to crushing on — wait for it — his dad’s mistress. OK, yeah, so that’s backwardsprogress. And yeah, Brian didn’t know Bridget (Krista Allen) wascarrying on an affair with Pa Davis (William Devane) till episode’send. But from the looks of next week’s previews, that’s not gonna stopdude from pursuing her. Then again, what else can you expect from acharacter who spouts lines like, “You’re mean because you don’t wantpeople to know you’re all soft and vulnerable underneath. And that’svery sexy.” Or, even more pathetic, “I feel like I’ll always be outsidethe window looking in at all the warm, happy families.” Gah!

Not only that, I can’t get myself to muster up enthusiasm for anyonein Brian’s circle of friends. The only likeable character last nightwas Amanda Foreman’s bartender, and she only had two lines of dialogue.Which gives me an idea. Maybe Abrams can sweep in, eliminate the show’score characters (except for maybe man-candy Brennan Elliott), and retool Brian as a Foreman vehicle called Saucy Barkeep. Is there any other reason to keep the show alive? And also, how did both Brian and Matthew get over Marjorie so fast? Brian fans and foes, holla back.

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