The ABC series October Road is the story of Nick (Bryan Greenberg), a young man returning to his New England hometown of Knight's Ridge after a ten-year absence. Nick left to "find himself" and in the process wrote a bestselling novel inexplicably titled "Turtle on a Snare Drum" which we're told described all of his old friends as small-town hicks. Nick decides to stay in town when he learns he may be the father of his old girlfriend Hannah's (Laura Prepon) son, and strikes up an attraction with college student Aubrey (Odette Yustman).
It's hard to see why any of Nick's old buddies should be offended, since his novel could only have made them more interesting. One has become a shut-in, one seems to mow lawns, another is a husband and dad with a marriage so stale he and his wife (who's cheating on him) have to dress up in costumes for each other. Only Hannah seems capable of surviving anywhere else, but she hangs on as a single parent and employee at a vet's office.
Rosenberg isn't much of a fan of flyover country, since his version of going home again involves a good deal of male immaturity and unhappy relationships. There's plenty of plot in October Road; last night's assault on a frat house by Nick's aggrieved buddies seemed a particularly aggressive bit of wish fulfillment. But the writer's refusal to let the characters dream big enough or engage with each other as adults (the budding romance between the town playboy and the cool best friend waitress is one exception) gives the show a hothouse quality that may not wear well. Think Dawson's Creek for folks in their late 20s.