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Ed - (S02E10)

Drama . Comedy

Ed Stevens is a contracts lawyer at a high-profile New York City firm. Around the same time he splits with his wife (she slept with a mailman), he makes a single error in punctuation when going over a contract; and because of the resulting financial loss to the firm, he's fired. Despondent, he heads back to his (small) hometown of Stuckeyville -- 'Anytown', USA. There he realises he's been missed by a lot of friends whom he's missed; and he sees Carol, the girl he'd adored in high school. Swept up in roiling emotions, Ed buys the local bowling alley on a whim, moves to Stuckeyville, and determines to win Carol's heart. His horizons broaden as he settles once more in Stuckeyville, and the series itself settles into a charming, funny, often serious slice-of-life series focused not solely on Ed but on the lovable ensemble cast of people who live and work with him in Stuckeyville.

Episode Title: Small Town Guys
Airs: 2002-01-09 at
  • Joanne Ostrow

    Like the best TV shows, Ed has a profound point beneath its silliness. It seems it's always possible to return to Stuckeyville, the hometown we carry around inside, and see new possibilities. If we let go and embrace a magical dramedy that dares to dream, we may feel somehow ennobled. [5 Oct 2000, p.E-03]

    Denver Post Full Review
  • Mike Duffy

    Ed is that rare sort of genuinely sweet television treat...It won't give you sugar schlock. It isn't sticky. And it doesn't go all gooey with prefabricated sentimentality. [6 Oct 2000, p.1D]

    Detroit Free Press Full Review
  • Scott D. Pierce

    If you watch only one new show this season, watch Ed...It's a dry-witted, hourlong comedy with dramatic undertones. It's sweet, funny, earnest, endearing and entirely charming. It's got a great cast -- particularly the perfectly cast Tom Cavanagh in the title role -- and even better writing. [6 Oct 2000, p.C08]

    Deseret News Full Review
  • Phil Rosenthal

    Ed is, unabashedly, a feel-good show that dangerously flirts with being too eccentric, too sentimental and way too whimsical...It's nothing short of a miracle that it manages to toe each of those lines without crossing any of them -- the kind of miracle that has you thinking all good things can happen and ultimately will. [6 Oct 2000, p.54]

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Aaron Barnhart

    This sweet comic drama is the best new show of the fall. "Ed" is not only cleverly scripted but also marvelously cast and filled with little touches that make it absolutely endearing. [7 Oct 2000, p.E1]

    Kansas City Star Full Review
  • Chuck Barney

    The show probably wouldn't fly for a minute, though, if it weren't for the ineffably engaging Cavanagh, who looks a lot like sardonic comedian Jon Stewart, yet has the laid-back affability of a young Jimmy Stewart. All bright eyes and dimples, he absolutely sparkles in the role. [7 Oct 2000, p.D01]

    San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times Full Review
  • Tom Shales

    Even if the new season's shows weren't the blah, bland blanks that most of them are, Ed would stand out. For one thing, it isn't often that the season's best new comedy is also its best new drama. Ed is. [8 Oct 2000, p.G01]

    Washington Post Full Review
  • David Zurawik

    Ed still believes in the realm of possibility, and perhaps even in magic. And that's part of what makes Ed Stevens such a welcome addition to the prime-time landscape. [7 Oct 2000, p.1E]

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    It's far and away the best new show on television this fall. [7 Oct 2000, p.1E]

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Robert P. Laurence

    A sprightly, beguiling series from NBC and the best new show of this fall season. People say one thing and mean another, as they sometimes do in actual life, and keep talking while they try to figure out what they really mean. [8 Oct 2000, p.TV-1]

    San Diego Union-Tribune Full Review
  • Mark Dawidziak

    It's where quirky meets quixotic, and the mix is enchanting - equal parts wit and whimsy. [8 Oct 2000, p.11]

    Cleveland Plain Dealer Full Review
  • Hal Boedeker

    What we have here is a love story, a lawyer show, a man-goes-home plot and a small-town celebration rolled into one. Look closely and you'll see bits of Providence, L.A. Law, Northern Exposure, The Andy Griffith Show and other series in the mix...But what might have been derivative becomes fresh and charming through deft execution. [8 Oct 2000, p.F1]

    Orlando Sentinel Full Review
  • Ken Tucker

    There are many ways in which Ed, the best new show of the season, could have been perfectly awful.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • [An] amiable send-up of small-town life.

    People Weekly Full Review
  • Laura Fries

    A member of the top of the class of the fall season. Offering more comedy than drama, the show is quirky, with feel-good sentiments lingering beneath clever writing. [6 Oct 2000, p.24]

    Variety Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    Ed has enough potential to qualify as scary. Scary in a "Freaks & Geeks" maybe-I-shouldn't-get-too-attached kind of way. What I mean is that one of this fall's more promising new series is a romantic comedy that NBC seems ready to chuck to the wolves, as it did so tragically to "F&G" last year. [6 Oct 2000, p.D1]

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Julie Salamon

    Ed is a throwback, a hopeful, pixilated Capra character who wants to believe that things will work out as they should and is genuinely baffled and disappointed when they don't. Yet "Ed" the show doesn't seem creaky because Ed the character has also been endowed with ironic self-awareness, as might be expected on a series created by the men behind "The Late Show With David Letterman." He does wonders for both lawyers and bowling.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Terry Jackson

    A few shows just sneak up on you. They start quiet, seem too simple, and then, when the credits roll after an hour, you find yourself smiling, wondering what happens next in this quirky world TV has created. That's what happens with Ed. [7 Oct 2000, p.5E]

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Howard Rosenberg

    Great stuff. Not a perfect strike, but close. [7 Oct 2000, p.F1]

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    But NBC's comedy-drama Ed boasts sweetness, charm and innocence in equal measure. It's also extremely funny, albeit in an offbeat, low-key way. [8 Oct 2000, p.TV-5]

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    What the cuts can't remove is the chemistry between Cavanagh and Bowen. They're a lovably winning couple in a completely winning new show. [6 Oct 2000, p.1E]

    USA Today Full Review
  • Ann Hodges

    It's the old Northern Exposure trick again. Quirks and eccentrics abound, but they could grow on you. It's nicely done, with an air of sweet innocence by David Letterman's production company, with former Late Show producers Rob Burnett and Jon Beckerman at the helm. [7 Oct 2000]

    Houston Chronicle Full Review
  • Diane Werts

    Originally a half-hour sitcom, redeveloped into a light hour, this latter-day "Northern Exposure" creates its own eccentric, cantankerous, sweet and silly world. Can this wacky enchantment last? [6 Oct 2000, p.B51]

    Newsday Full Review
  • Matt Zoller Seitz

    NBC's half-hour slice of small-town life isn't perfect right out of the gate; few shows are. But it's so sure-footed and engaging that it would be a pleasure to see how it turns out. [7 Oct 2000, p.43]

    Newark Star-Ledger Full Review
  • Jonathan Storm

    Touching and original. [8 Oct 2000]

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    Ed also is graced by Molly Hudson (Lesley Boone), another of his former high school classmates. Chubby and vibrant, she's another winning character in a series that's brimming with them. [8 Oct 2000]

    Dallas Morning News Full Review
  • John Allemang

    You might call Ed a sentimental comedy, soft rather than biting, with the mushy sensibility of a going-home show like Providence turned into an amusing Jell-O salad. Or looked at from another angle - the simple innocence of an Adam Sandler movie, but with brains instead of body functions. [6 Oct 2000, p.R2]

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • John Levesque

    Meeting Mike and Nancy is worth the contrivance, for if this show succeeds it may be due in part to the capable support of Josh Randall and Jana Marie Hupp, who offer occasional relief from the silly plot lines of Ed's life. As the Burtons, recently blessed with the arrival of their first child, they provide Ed with amusing reality checks as he pursues the new woman of his hometown dreams: Carol Vessey. [7 Oct 2000, p.C1]

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • Monica Collins

    Ed is swell, as Ed might say. Not quite a strike but a satisfying spare. [5 Oct 2000, p.48]

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • Allan Johnson

    Cavanagh's goofy, lovable performance isn't so over the top as to turn viewers off, and a nice ensemble cast backs him. [8 Oct 2000, p.4]

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Gail Pennington

    The line between charming and annoying is pretty fine here, and although Ed is indeed a cute show, I finished two episodes feeling more annoyed than charmed. Much of this zaniness seems as forced as the romance between Ed and Carol, which needs more time to develop. Maybe she'll grow to love him. Maybe you and I will, too. [8 Oct 2000, p.F6]

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Linda Stasi

    Sheesh! This show's about as real as Pamela Anderson's second set of breasts. [8 Oct 2000, p.107]

    New York Post Full Review

  • bowling

  • lawyer

  • hometown

  • bowling alley

  • law

  • high school

  • weird lawsuit

  • sexual joke

  • seeking love

  • psychiatrist

  • low self esteem

  • love

  • legal advice

  • insecurity

  • counseling

  • client

  • childhood friend

  • bar

  • doctor

  • medical

  • courtroom

  • teacher

  • small town

  • character name in title