Exes & Ohs



10 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8

We have all lived long enough to see an original television comedy series focusing on lesbian dating -- and a pretty good one at that. "Exes & Ohs," from Logo (the channel serving the gay and lesbian -- and bisexual and transgender -- communities), is a sprightly and surprisingly mainstream-feeling dramedy that borrows heavily from "Ally McBeal" and "Sex and the City" in both style and sensibility.

Set in Seattle, it centers on Jennifer (show exec producer/writer Michelle Paradise), whom in the premiere discovers while taking a sauna that her girlfriend Sienna (Darby Stanchfield) has taken up with the couple's relationship therapist. This tosses her into an understandable funk from which she spends the rest of the half-hour trying to emerge with a little help from friends Sam (Marnie Alton), Chris (Megan Cavanagh), Kris (Angela Featherstone) and Crutch (Heather Matarazzo). By the end of the opener, Jennifer will wind up trapped on the yacht where Sienna is getting married, very much against her will. But all is fair in love and lesbianism.

In the second episode, Jennifer will dip her toe tentatively into the dating waters again, with predictably ambiguous results, while Sam gets a lesson in real estate from a professional who might be looking to teach her about more than selling houses.

So it goes in "Exes & Ohs," which is trying so hard to be a gay "Sex and the City" that one of its stars (Alton) even kind of looks like Sarah Jessica Parker. Its chief weakness is that it goes for too much of the cutesy, with Paradise -- having based the show on her film short "The Ten Rules: A Lesbian Survival Guide" -- turning to the camera to impart her rules face-to-camera ("Rule No. 1: Relationships aren't fully done until you hit four breakups or six months apart").

However, the show works because it has such a self-assured sense of its own estrogen-infused zeitgeist, even if it's a tad on the idealized side.