Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Two Guys a Girl and a Pizza Place Review

Perhaps you have heard the news that Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds are engaged. Who would have thought ten years ago that the star of Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place would be engaged to one of the hottest young actresses in Hollywood? The answer would be no one since Johansson was only 13 at the time. That would be like a 14 year-old Katie Holmes saying that one day she would marry Tom Cruise, 16 years her elder. Ridiculous! Anyway, 10 years after the debut of Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place, let’s take a look back.

The plot of Two Guys (I’m going to shorten the title instead of typing it over and over again) was simple enough. There were three twenty-somethings, ironically one girl and two guys, who lived in the same apartment building and hung around a pizza place. The guys were Pete (Richard Ruccolo), a neurotic architecture student and Berg (Ryan Reynolds), the laid-back pre-med. Sharon (Traylor Howard) was a tough girl with a soft center. (I took this line as well as the descriptions of Pete and Berg directly from the IMDB plot summary). In my mind, Two Guys was an underrated show. ABC never knew exactly what to do with it and the show was somewhat limited by the long and self-explanatory title. By the third season, the show was re-titled "Two Guys and a Girl" and later moved to an awful Friday night timeslot. Two Guys may have been a precursor to How I Met Your Mother. If you think about it, would there have been a HIMYM without Two Guys? The answer is probably yes, but I like asking nonsensical questions occasionally.

The cast of Two Guys has done quite well from the humble beginnings. Reynolds is now engaged to Scarlett Johansson (if you happened to miss the first line of this post) and has had a very successful film career. Although he is not an A-list actor, Reynolds would definitely fit in the A- or B+ category. Reynolds starred in Definitely, Maybe, Van Wilder and Just Friends and had significant supporting roles in Smokin’ Aces, Blade: Trinity and The In-Laws. With Reynolds starring in the 2009 release of X-Men Origins with Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber coupled with the fact that he is engaged to Johansson, the future is very bright for Berg.

Unless you count the quickly cancelled Bram and Alice (not this Bram), Traylor Howard has had only one noteworthy role since Two Guys. However, the role is in the critically acclaimed USA show Monk starring Emmy winner Tony Shalhoub. In my book, 50+ episodes on a sitcom is a success.

Nathan Fillion, who was neither of the two guys in the tile, is one of those actors that you know by his picture but not by name. He’s been on Desperate Housewives, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Drive (which did not last as long as Bram and Alice) and an episode of Lost. Fillion also played the leading male role in Waitress and is the voice of Sarge in Halo 3. That would be a cool gig.

I would write that Richard Ruccolo, the guy in the title not named Ryan Reynolds, has not had a successful post-Two Guys career except that he was engaged to Tiffani-Amber Thiessen. That has to be worth something, right?

Suzanne Cryer also appeared in 39 episodes as Berg’s girlfriend who fought regularly with Pete, but let’s not talk much about her career. Actually, she has had roles in dozens of television shows included Desperate Housewives, Frasier, ER, Grey’s Anatomy, Bones and the Drew Carey Show. Unfortunately, she only seems to appear in one episode.

Based on my trip down the Two Guys memory lane, I’m sure that you share the same question that I have: will Howard, Fillion, Ruccolo or Cryer be invited to the wedding?


lacochran's evil twin said...

Man, Reynolds really needs to lose that beard.

Sean said...

I agree. The beard is not a good look for him.

lacochran's evil twin said...

You're actually getting a Google ad for the Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place DVD on your site. How to get a little product placement tie in!!

Who knew there were 81 episodes? You probably did. I couldn't have guessed that it went on that long. I liked it but it seemed to drag a bit as it in the later years... You know, once Fonzie got pretty much replaced with that Chachie guy.

Anonymous said...

I can't comment about the rest of the cast, but Nathan Fillion will definitely be invited to the wedding since he and Reynolds have been buddies since the show.

And you forgot to mention Nathan's biggest role as Capt. Malcolm Reynolds on the TV show Firefly and its follow-up movie Serenity.

Anonymous said...

Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place! What a great TV show that was!

Captain Easychord said...

firefly was awesome... it's mindboggling that only one season of the show was ever made...

Anonymous said...

Two guys may have been a precursor for himym? Did we watch the same shows? You said part of it yourself "Pete is a nerotic architecture student"...Ted nerotic and an architect. Sharon was an environmentalist that work for an evil corporation and hated it. Marshall....environmentalist works for evil corp...hates it. Ashley was a strong and confident career women. Robin...same. Johnny was the good guy with holsome vales side of Marshall's personality. There wasn't much of a lily reference in terms of personilty but Sharon was the college friend of two main guys who meet in freshman year with a story that involved hooking up a stereo. Berg was awesome. Had catch phrases. Enjoyed screwing with friends enough to make them question why they kept him around. Womenizer who matures over time....all describing one himym character...wait for it...Barney. They hung out while working at a pizza place but when they did go to a bar it was very similar in terms of color, style, lighting as mclearns. Berg and Ashley's relationship is very similar to robin and barney...Pete dated Ashley...Ted dated robin. Johnny and Sharon...married couple guy has the values of Marshall. So much more if you watch each episode there are even jokes and complete story lines that you can connect directly to himym episodes. Pete even decides he doesn't want to be an architect an more. Not sure if he decided to become one again later in the story but if he didn't we only got 4 seasons...if himym had only lasted 4 seasons then Ted never would have started designing for gnb again so if two guys had to last longer then we might have seen that happen as well. The characters were around 25 when both shows started. They often sat on the stairs outside their apartment in both shows. Ted and Pete constantly talk about the one...and almost every girl is the one...but it doesn't work out. Pete has a breakdown at a wedding.

There are so many more similarities I find it hard to believe that himym isn't just a reboot of two guys. Don't get me wrong I love himym, and same with two guys and a girl. I feel two guys was the better show but they didn't have enough of a gimmick to keep it going strong. Himym did it right and by adding in the how I met your mother storyline they took a great idea and made it better. As we learn from movies...reboots work. Berg and Ashley even dance at the wedding Pete breaks down Barney and Robin with Ted at punchy's wedding.

But point being himym is a rip off of two guys...realized it years ago...but this is the first time I've ever seen someone almost make reference to it