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Series / A to Z

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A to Z is a sitcom series from the fall 2014 season about Andrew Lofland and Zelda Vasco and their relationship. The narration from the first episode says they dated for "8 months, 3 weeks, 5 days, and 1 hour" and the series is a detailed documentary of their relationship. A digital preview of the first episode was released. The series was canceled, meaning only 13 episodes were produced.

This series provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: So early into the relationship, Andrew prefers to keep his father, Pete, away from Zelda or at least minimize their interactions. Pete's a pretty fun guy overall, but he often speaks quite frankly about whatever's on his mind (such as telling one of Andrew's girlfriends that he looked forward to seeing his first grandchild crowning during child birth).
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  • Asian and Nerdy: Lora and Dinesh work in tech support for Wallflower. Lora is Chinese while Dinesh is Indian.
  • Bookends: The first episode starts and ends with the narrator stating the lifespan of the relationship.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Zelda is not looking for a relationship at the start of the series, but agrees to date Andrew by the first episode's end.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Stu finds a woman he previously lied to to romance is Stephie, Zelda's best friend. The narrator calls this a 7 million to 1 chance.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The show is called "A to Z", for many reasons:
    • The main characters are Andrew and Zelda.
    • Each episode is named after a letter of the alphabet. Starting with A, and presumably ending with Z (though the series' cancellation makes that impossible).
    • It's meant to be a complete breakdown of the relationship, from start (A) to end (Z).
  • Emotionless Girl: Subverted with Zelda. She prefers to keep it low-key at the start of the relationship, which is why she didn't want Andrew to attend a funeral with her. He goes, anyway, so when she has to perform the eulogy, she goes all lawyer about the facts of the departed's life. Later, though, she has a complete breakdown over not showing any emotion when talking about someone who was like a second mother to her.
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  • Establishing Character Moment: The CEO for Wallflower, an online dating site, reads out a touching letter from yet another couple who got married and had children thanks to the site. She then proceeds to crumple up the letter, angrily expressing how every happy couple costs the site money.
  • Foregone Conclusion: They will date for 8 months, 3 weeks, 5 days, and 1 hour.
  • Freudian Excuse: Due to being raised by hippies (to the point of the entire extended family living on a bus), Zelda craves order and instinctively keeps people at a distance.
  • Friendship Moment: A flashback in "D is for Debbie" shows why Andrew and Stu are inseparable. Stu showed up at Andrew's mother's funeral without being asked but with a plate of food.
  • Granola Girl: Inverted. Although Zelda was raised by hippies, she herself went exactly the opposite way and became a lawyer, believing heavily in order, and shies away from fantastical stuff like destiny.
  • Halloween Episode: "E is for Ectoplasm."
  • Have We Met?: In the first episode, Andrew and Zelda find each other familiar, despite not remembering ever meeting. They think it's because they simply work in the same building complex and thus saw each other in passing at some point. He later suspects he saw her in a silver dress at a concert and says it was obviously destiny, though she denies all of it. She's lying. She was there, wore the silver dress, and remembered seeing him, but she got scared off by his talk of destiny and true love.
  • Honey Trap: Lydia sets up recreational items like foosball tables and massage chairs around the office to catch employees slacking off. Then she falls for the one set up by Wallflower's corporate representative. Twice.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The first episode is called "A is for Acquaintances", and the series will follow the alphabet.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: Lydia implements a new policy that requires Wallflower members to cancel their subscriptions in-person, believing customers would just find it too awkward and troublesome to do so. One scene cut later, Stephie walks into the office, says she's cancelling her subscription, and adds the new policy makes this super easy.
  • Manipulative Bastard/Pointy-Haired Boss: Lydia will go to great lengths to make sure the company is running smoothly and that she is respected while not caring about the wellbeing of her employees.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Initial reaction of Andrew to Zelda, when Zelda's date is a girl.
    Andrew: Oh! So you're...
    Zelda: Bye!
    Andrew: Bye? Or like...
    Stu: Bi.
  • Operation: Jealousy: The subplot in "K is for Keep Out" goes back-and-forth. Lydia tries to use Lora as a go-between for asking out her superior, Dane. However, Dane responds to Lora's questions by asking her out, much to Lydia's annoyance. Lydia immediately cozies up to Dinesh to get back at both Dane and Lora, with Dinesh being in on it. Lora becomes more flirtatious with Dane, as a result. Dane acknowledges how this is just Lydia's attempt to make him jealous, saying it worked. He also admits he only asked Lora out to try to get Lydia to admit her feelings first. Those two leave the office together; Lora just leaves Dinesh sitting by himself.
  • Parental Substitute: Stu didn't have a great relationship with his own dad, so he's very close to Andrew's father, Pete. Since the old man is a Cool Old Guy, he indulges it quite a bit.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Andrew and Zelda almost move in together in "K is for Keep Out" because of this. Andrew's fighting with Stu, so he went looking for a new apartment. He wanted her to check out one he had found, but she assumed he was asking her to move in with him. Both think such a prospect is moving too fast, but they also think the other really wants to move in, so they almost take the plunge until the truth comes out at the last minute.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: The narrator notes that Andrew has all the typical masculine interests, but he's also shown to be a hopeless romantic and sings along to Céline Dion songs.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the premier, Andrew is convinced hoverboards from Back to the Future are real because of a documentary. Lea Thompson even makes an appearance to tell him they aren't. The Stinger showed her riding on one.
    • Shout-out or possible Homage to (500) Days of Summer: there's the exact length of the couple's relationship and the couple is composed of a romantic guy and a less-than-romantic girl.
    • In one episode, a voiceover mentions Andrew's "big glory music" that plays in his head at major events in his life: "Gathering Crowds", the ending theme to one of his favorite shows as a boy—the syndicated Major League Baseball highlights series This Week in Baseball. It includes a brief clip of the end of a TWIB episode, and the first part of the musical piece. The scene then segues into a scene with Andrew saying this to Zelda:
    Andrew: I've been walking around with music in my head since the moment we met. And it's not just any music. It's the old end credits to This Week in Baseball, which only pops into my head when something truly incredible and life-altering happens. That's how much I like you.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Early on, Stephie can't stand Stu, as he lied to her about being a jazz trumpeter and claimed he was leaving for Paris. Her regularly lashing out about it doesn't make him thrilled to be around her, either, but their best friends are dating. Stephie and Stu agree in "C is for Curiouser and Curiouser" to fake getting along so as to keep their friends happy. Actually burying the hatchet at some point is a later concern for them.
  • Those Two Guys: Lora and Dinesh pop up around the Wallflower office to provide commentary about each episode's plot.
  • Working with the Ex: Lora and Dinesh dated some time in the past before breaking up because Dinesh came on too strongly too soon.