Ex factor

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The Ex List has a premise that sounds too gimmicky for its own good.

In the show, adapted from an Israeli series, Elizabeth Reaser plays single gal and florist Bella Bloom (Really? That's her name?), who visits a psychic and learns that if she doesn't marry within the year, she'll be single for life.

The kicker is she's apparently already been with the man she's destined to be with forever, so she makes a (long) list of her past relationships, from live-in lovers to one-night stands, and sets out to figure out which one is The One. If the pilot is any indication, we'll get one new ex a week, complete with a flashback to their failed romance and a tidy resolution to their second go-round.

But like that other show that revolves around a list, My Name Is Earl, The Ex List succeeds thanks to a likeable cast, sharp dialogue and an unexpectedly good sense of humor.

Turns out Reaser, best known as the pregnant amnesiac Jane Doe on Grey's Anatomy, is a gifted comedienne. So far, she's taking the experiment as more of a fun diversion than a life-changing quest, which is refreshing -- she seems more hopeful about finding true love than desperate to get hitched.

One caveat: Creator Diane Ruggiero left the show after six episodes because of disagreements with CBS. We can only hope Ex List maintains its charisma after her departure.

--Shelley Mann