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ABC’s “Manhattan Love Story” just became the first casualty of the fall season, meaning we’ll never get to see Peter driving that sex car of his. We’ll also never find out if he’s a fan of Dana’s “pity panties.”

But I’m not going to miss “Manhattan Love Story” because I was sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to find out when Peter and Dana would finally defeat fate and test-drive that sex car. I’m going to miss it because it had a sweetness that other TV romantic comedies are lacking. I love the assertive, somewhat obnoxious character played by Casey Wilson in “Marry Me,” but it was refreshing to see a more soft-spoken, mellow leading lady on “Manhattan Love Story.” Dana was no doormat, but she didn’t need to dominate every scene she was in by raising her voice, getting all huffy, and telling someone why they’re wrong.

Tipton’s Soothing Screen Presence

Watching Analeigh Tipton play Dana was a pleasant experience, and you couldn’t help but fall in love with her doe eyes and demure demeanor. I’ve seriously marveled at her mastery of the classic eyelash batting, head-ducking move—she’s definitely a pro when it comes to looking adorable. She also has a smooth, soft spoken voice that made her the perfect choice for a character with an inner monologue.

Dana’s Romantic Vision of NYC

I love that Dana was always looking for the best in the people of NYC. She believed men wouldn’t fake being deaf to sell bracelets, and she refused to accept that street vendors only sell knock-off purses. Somehow she even remained optimistic after finding a finger in a puddle and being locked in a stairwell by her cruel coworkers. Sure, she was a little naïve, but what’s wrong with that? Every girl on TV doesn’t have to be savvy and street-smart, and it would have been fun to watch her live and learn. I also admired Dana for continuing on her quest to cross off items on her NYC to-do list—it was a brave thing to do after it led to a lot of tears and a bout of food poisoning.

Dana Didn’t Need a Perfect Love Story

Sure “A to Z” has syrup in spades, but its problem is that it doesn’t balance out the love with enough laughs. The “A to Z”-meets-cute was what I expected to see when Ted finally met the mother on “How I Met Your Mother,” but I prefer Dana and Peter’s messy first meeting more. It proved that a love story can start with a disastrous first date that includes crying and armpit sniffing. I love that Dana decided to stay with Peter after he puked all over her on what was supposed to be a very romantic night together. As he pointed out, most girls would have taken off. But not determined Dana—she decided to fight fate and food poisoning to be with Peter. It was oddly sweet seeing the sweaty, feverish couple spend all day in bed together with grumbling guts.

It’s sad that Dana’s NYC journey is over, but don’t feel too sorry for Analeigh Tipton. She proved she’s deserving of being the lead on a TV series, and she did get a pretty cool consolation prize—she and onscreen love interest Jake McDorman are dating in real life. How’s that for a happy ending to this “Manhattan Love Story”?


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Photo: ABC/Craig Sjodin