Watching this last night on VH1, I'm still baffled about why CBS killed the show. What's not confusing is how they did it – originally slated to run against some B-list sitcoms, they moved it to 10 PM, where Law & Order: SVU has a solid following, then proceeded to give it no support. It's the self-fulfilling prophecy again, reality shows are popular because the networks spend less money on talent and more on promotion – and thus, they can't be avoided.
Last night's show was mostly satisfying. What love most about "Love Monkey" is the genuine passion for music. The opening scene, Tom Cavnaugh crawling through a used record store in search of the late 60's gem "Merry-Go Round," Emmit Rhodes' first band, was charming enough, but having the narrator make a point of mentioning Rhodes as a hero is a joy – he's one of mine too.
OK, the plot was a bit pedestrian (old girlfriend returns with band and ex-boyfriend in tow with guilty sex and rumination inevitable), and I could do without the "Nash Bridges" style multiple storylines. But any show that has Aimee Mann demurring on every question with "it's a mystery," a very pregnant Samantha Bee as a Letterman show booking agent giving Tom the option of having his body or his spirit broken for a professional indiscretion ("I won't do it myself," says Bee, "I have people who do it for me."), and works plenty of mostly good live music into it is all right by me.
I do wish the invented bands (Teddy Geiger, Gladwell) were better than mediocre. But it's the only damn show about the music biz, it will disappear completely in four episodes, so I'm gonna enjoy it while it lasts. You should too.