Take Seinfeld, add the visual style of 24, and you get Watching Ellie. That damn clock in the bottom corner of the screen is pointless– it just makes me nervous as Ellie bumbles her was through her day. scratch that– through her 22 minutes. The writing isn’t so bad, and the characters are all good (with the exception of the blonde english boyfriend)… I especially liked her building super, played by Peter Stormare (one of the nihilists from the Big Lebowski).
So, what’s with the real-time stuff? Are we so neurotic a culture that we find this kind of thing interesting? One of the reasons i like Frasier so much, is because of the way they transition between scenes. It gives a second to catch our breath, muse over whatever clever title they give the next scene, and then we see it unfold. Sitcoms are stale, i realize this– but Watching Ellie isn’t more than an experiment. I doubt it will catch on without some rethinking.