It’s not elementary, my dear Watson

No one likes being the third wheel when it comes to going out.

But how much worse is it to be the seventh wheel of the bunch? Not any better, I’m guessing.

Meet Brian. He is the heart of the new ABC drama that premiered earlier this week.

“What About Brian” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on KITV channel 4 on Oceanic Time Warner Cable.

Brian, played by Barry Watson, who gained popularity on the family-show “7th Heaven,” plays the single guy in a bunch of close-knit friends who are all attached.

His solution is simple.

You find the person you want to be with, and live happily ever after.

Yeah, right. It’s that simple.

If it were, we wouldn’t have soap operas and chick flicks, and all sorts of drama on the small or big screen.

The thing is, on the surface, Brian’s got it going on. He’s single. He’s hot. He’s got a great job creating computer games for his company, Zap Monkey. And he’s got a solid group of friends.

But he comes to the realization that the only reason he is never satisfied with the girls he dates is because he’s in love with his best friend Adam’s girl, Marjorie (Sarah Lancaster). And so the love triangle begins.

Wanting what you can’t have. Who hasn’t been in this situation? Brian is dating some crazy girl, only referred to in the show as Car girl, and whom viewers will remember as the pink ranger from “Power Rangers.” Neither he nor his friends can stand her, so he and Adam (Matthew Davis) make a pact to break up with their girlfriends.

Seeing this as an opportunity to move in on Marjorie, Brian agrees.

Brian keeps up his end of the bargain, but when they all meet up for brunch, Marjorie and Adam announce their engagement.

Talk about a major shot to the heart.

Brian decides to tell Marjorie his feelings and, knowing that pursuing her isn’t an option, walks away.

In the following episode, as Brian hooks up with other girls, Marjorie starts having second thoughts about her feelings for Adam.

It’s this tension that will keep this show going. It’s much like the love triangle found in another ABC show, “Grey’s Anatomy.” But don’t think the two shows are that similar. These couples have slightly different problems. At least in this love triangle no one is married yet.

In sub-plots, Dave (Rick Gomez), Brian’s business partner at Zap Monkey, is having a difficult time with his wife Deena (Amanda Detmer).

He loves her and his three daughters very much, but his wife wants to try an open marriage. He doesn’t want to do it, but isn’t telling her flat out ‘no’ because he wants her to be happy.

Man up, dude. No way. It’s interesting to see how this goes.

Brian’s record-executive older sister Nic (Rosanna Arquette) is having trouble conceiving with her younger husband, Angelo (Raoul Bova), so they’re looking at their options.

Creator J.J. Abrams has seemed to tap into some kind of hit-making formula the same way that Dave E. Kelley had a string of good shows. Abrams is responsible for “Felicity,” “Alias,” and of course, the local favorite, “Lost.” The execs over at ABC just have to stop pumping out these good shows. I’m already watching “Desperate Housewives,” “Grey’s,” and “Lost.” Now I’ve got to turn onto “What About Brian,” too? At least for now it’s got me hooked.

• Lanaly Cabalo, lifestyle writer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or


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