Will 'A to Z' Couple Andrew & Zelda Break Up at the End? Maybe They Should
Two strangers meet and start to date. Eventually, they stop. Then we get to examine their entire dating history from A to Z. Sounds like a pretty good premise for a TV show, right? In theory, definitely. But we'll just have to see how NBC's newest romantic comedy can deliver heart and humor on such a clinical summary when A to Z premieres on Thursday night. In a lot of ways, the idea for the series sounds similar to the film 500 Days of Summer, in that we see snippets of these couples' lives. Obviously in the film, it's broken up by days and in the series it's done through letter of the alphabet, beginning with "A for Acquaintances." But what really intrigues me about A to Z is that despite the obvious comparisons to that film, the series refuses to tell us whether A to Z will end in marriage or a break up for the couple at its center, Andrew and Zelda. Since we don't know how this show will end, I'll venture to take a guess based on what we've seen so far: I think, and kind of hope, to be honest, that the couple breaks up.
Here's what we do know: the chemistry between Ben Feldman's Andrew and Cristin Milioti's Zelda will definitely lead to some great moments of romance and tension onscreen. There's a good chance that over the course of this televised relationship, I'm going to change my mind. But based on the pilot alone, these characters probably shouldn't end up together.
Let me explain. Since the show does share plot similarities with 500 Days of Summer, I'll use the film as a reference. For those who have not seen the film, it's totally worth it. Also, spoiler alert for both the movie and the series' pilot.
500 Days of Summer made it obvious from the very beginning that it was not a love story and that Tom and Summer were clearly completely different. A to Z uses the same technique of pairing two opposites in a relationship. Obvious idea, right? Opposites attract. But here's where things start to get dicey, for me at least, when it comes to the show. Zelda and Andrew once saw each other a few years before their official office meet-cute at a concert. Andrew never could get her out of his mind and when she brought up the concert during a round of drinks, he believed it was fate that brought them together. Zelda did not agree.
It seems at the moment (from the pilot alone, mind you) that the series is relying too heavily on Zelda and Andrew's "meeting of fate" and how despite their differences, they are, in fact, perfect for one another. I don't agree with that statement and hopefully the show is only using that conceit as a way to justify the pair's foray into coupledom.
Like Tom from 500 Days of Summer, Andrew is too set on the idea of fate and soulmates. It's not a silly theory, but if Zelda's appearance in a silver dress at a concert is the only reason the two are meant to be together, there really is not much weight to that argument. I've seen several men at the grocery store buying the same kind of cheese as me, does that mean they're all perfect for me? No, it's possible I would be a terrible fit with all of them and for all I know, one of them could be a cheese-loving serial killer.
Then there's Andrew's weird obsessive behaviors. He basically hacks into Zelda's social media accounts to prove she was at the concert in the silver dress when she originally says she was not. I understand being determined, but that's way too much. And somehow Zelda apologizes to Andrew for being closed off and comes to appreciate how much he did to be with her. To be fair, Andrew apologizes too, but his actions are more than a little creepy.
If the series' writers plan to have the couple stay together and get married in the end, they better be ready to make each character evolve into more well-rounded, open people who can respect each other enough to tell the truth and not go completely crazy. If A to Z actually properly shows a couple who are so different trying to make their relationship work, that's a series I would easily tune into every single week. But for now, I'm thinking this Andrew and Zelda are headed for a not-so-happy ending.
Images: Jessica Brooks, Trae Patton (2)/NBC