The romantic comedy genre has been suffering as of late. Once, a long time ago, movies in this genre were ruling the box office and more were being produced and released on a daily basis. Between the 90s and the early 00s, romantic comedies were the queens. However, with the rising of spectacle movies like The Avengers and other superhero affairs, the romantic comedy genre went down not only in quality but also in perception.
More and more of this type of film starred to be released on streaming services instead of theaters, and the result was the total annihilation of the genre on the big screen. People just weren’t interested in watching something that looks like a TV show on the big screen. The same fate was shared with the standard comedies. So, with theaters out of the question, where does the genre thrive? Is it streaming, the only survival spot for these stories?
Maggie comes to the attack as an offering for everyone who loves the genre. This show feels very much like those movies from the early 2000s, both in the way that it is shot, in the way the characters behave and also in the way the stories are told. For some reason, the show feels completely trapped in the past, both in the good and the bad ways. However, Maggie has a trick under its sleeve, one that might not work in the long run, but one that definitely set it apart from others stories in the genre.
You see, Maggie, our main character, is a single girl that only wants to have a great life. She has a good relationship with her parents, she has good friends, and yet, she is not able to find a partner. Why? She’s charming and beautiful, it shouldn’t be hard for someone like her to get someone. The thing that is stopping Maggie in her tracks when it comes to her love life is the fact that she is a psychic. Yes, and not a fake one, but an actual psychic.
It becomes harder for Maggie being with someone knowing when those people are going to die, or what bad stuff they have done in the past. It isn’t easy, so, she remains single. Until the moment when, while reading someone’s fortune, she sees herself happily married to a perfect stranger. Is this person her real soulmate? Maggie then has to confront her knowledge of the future with the uncertainty of the present.
The premise is quite out there, but the show never really goes into full psychic powers mode. This element of the plot only serves to put Maggie in situations that are both funny and awkward. You will not be seeing Eleven power levels on this show. We wouldn’t want that anyway. What there is in each episode are some comedy bits that will hit or miss with many people, and also some romance that can feel somewhat shallow.
Maggie won’t blow anyone away with its visuals. The show really seems like it was made on the cheap. There is nothing wrong with that, there are many shows out there with basically no budget that are able to do great stuff. Maggie goes for the Lifetime look, and it seems like this could have probably been a TV movie for that network, as the acting and the writing feel very much in line with the content produced by Lifetime.
The show’s first season runs for 13 episodes. Each episode has a running time of around 22 minutes, which makes Maggie an easy binge-watch if you are in the mood for some old-fashioned romantic comedy fair. Be warned that the season culminates in a big cliffhanger that might not get resolved if the show is not picked up for a second season. It doesn’t matter, though, the people who will love this show will love it with all their hearts. Maggie is basically critic proof in that respect.
Rebecca Rittenhouse is the perfect lead for the show. She has chemistry with almost everyone on screen, and she is someone you can easily root for. The actress’s infection energy makes you love even her friends, who can be somewhat annoying. There is nothing wrong with the actors, but the way their characters are written is often cringe-worthy. Most of the time, none of the characters really talk like genuine human beings, but you can let that pass if you accept the show is working in its own piece of reality.
The rest of the cast does what it can, but they are mostly very exaggerated or very lame when it comes to their characterization. Only Nichole Sakura, who plays Louise, Maggie’s best friend, stands out from the rest. She is as unrealistic as everyone, but the actress manages to make that quality her own, and it makes the character feel alive and someone fun to be around. This will surely become comfort food for some Hulu subscribers.
Maggie might not be a great series, but it has the charm and the nostalgia factor that many fans of the genre have been craving for years. Rittenhouse, and Sakura are great leads and the premise is fancy enough to sustain the story for the entire season. If it is strong enough to hold the series for many seasons in the future is something we will have to wait and see.