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TV CRITIC'S CORNER

What will the future hold for Hulu’s ‘Maggie’?

Rebecca Rittenhouse and David Del Rio in "Maggie."Liliane Lathan/Hulu

Hulu is premiering a new sitcom on Wednesday that’s a “How I Met Your Mother” wannabe. “Maggie” reaches for similar qualities — ensemble warmth, an emphasis on romance, and plenty of specific callbacks. But it’s not as good or tightly written as “How I Met Your Mother” was during its first seasons. The show is pleasant enough, thanks to a strong supporting cast, and it’s worlds better than Hulu’s “How I Met Your Father.” But with so many good series out there now, “Maggie” does not compel.

The gimmick — which sometimes feels cutesy — is that Maggie (Rebecca Rittenhouse), our heroine, is a psychic. When she touches a person, she gets glimpses of their future — images that she then interprets, sometimes rightly, other times very wrongly indeed. That can make dating complicated, since she sometimes sees the end of a relationship at its very beginning, and it has left her cynical. We watch this all play out once Maggie meets Ben (David Del Rio), who quickly becomes her will-they-or-won’t-they love interest for, I imagine, the length of the series. Naturally, Ben winds up living downstairs from Maggie, but with another woman.

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Rittenhouse is the calm center, to some extent, of the cast of bigger characters. It’s a little odd the way everyone perceives her predictive powers as totally normal, but they’re all onboard with her gift. Her best friend, Louise (Nichole Sakura), is kooky and scene-stealing, as is her psychic mentor, Angel (Ray Ford). Her parents, played by Chris Elliott and Kerry Kenney-Silver, are amusingly weird, and other members of the extended friends group, including Angelique Cabral and Leonardo Lam as Ben’s sister and brother-in-law, are distinctive. It’s all sweet and, maybe, a little too light.


Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.