Declaring your love for someone who you think you'll never see again might seem like a good plan, unless you do see them again -- for eight hours a day, every day, at work. Then it's just super awkward. "Kevin (From Work)" puts a twist on workplace romance, and the result is a funny look at owning your feelings.
Before Kevin (Noah Reid) starts a new job overseas, he decides to write a love letter to his co-worker Audrey (Paige Spara). When the position abroad falls through, he's forced to return to his old job and deal with his no longer secret feelings.
There's an element of putting yourself in Kevin's shoes -- it's hard to watch and not wonder how you might handle having your crush suddenly out in the open -- that makes the character relatable. What makes the character likeable is Reid's performance. He plays Kevin as genuine and kind, a good guy who loves his irresponsible sister and cares about his goofy best friend. You root for him instantly. It's important for the story that as a viewer, you care about Kevin getting the girl but it's even more significant that you're invested in Kevin's general happiness. Reid, who has great comic timing, makes it easy to feel both for a character who has to deal with being exposed and vulnerable on top of being rejected by a woman who is a sweet friend but isn't in love with him.
Or is she? The other element to the series is a will they or won't they dynamic that is central to most unrequited love stories. Audrey isn't ready to admit she may have outgrown her boyfriend and Kevin's reveal confirms what she already suspected: He loves her. It's not a unique characterization but you go with it because Reid and Spara have enough chemistry to make the expected moments feel fresh.
The supporting players, namely Audrey's roommate Patti (Punam Patel), Kevin's sister Roxie (Jordan Hinson) and his best friend Brian (Matt Murray) round out the cast. Each character has a quirky personality and they all disrupt Kevin's life in one way or another. Reid's job in these scenes is to play the straight man and he charmingly pulls it off. Patel is good as delusional romantic Patti while Murray shines as a personal trainer who isn't afraid to share his feelings. Hinson is the self-absorbed Roxie who becomes Kevin's roommate when his new job falls through. She attacks the role with enthusiasm. Amy Sedaris, in a recurring guest star role, is very funny as Kevin's sexually inappropriate boss Julia.
Visually, the show plays with fantasy sequences and uses clever editing in ways that create whimsy and humor. In the pilot, Audrey walks into the office and Kevin sees animated birds that flutter around her in a Disney princess kind of way. Will he be her Prince Charming? Spend some time with "Kevin (From Work)" and find out.
"Kevin (From Work)" is on Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. EDT on ABC Family.
Melissa Crawley is the author of "Mr. Sorkin Goes to Washington: Shaping the President on Television's 'The West Wing.'" She has a Ph.D. in media studies and is a member of the Television Critics Association. To comment on Stay Tuned, email her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @MelissaCrawley.