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Hercules Is Altogether Meh
About NBC’s New Sitcom BENT!!

Published at: March 21, 2012, 1:38 p.m. CST

I am – Hercules!!

“Bent,” from writer-producer Tad Quill (“Spin City,” “Scrubs”), is a sitcom about a type-A single lawyer-mom (Amanda Peet) who falls for her handsome stoner contractor (David Walton).

The good news is it has no laughtrack and features hot actresses (“Even Stevens” fixture Margo Harshman plays Peet’s hornier sister) and funny men – among them JB Smoove (Leon Black on “Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Jesse Plemons (Landry Clarke on “Friday Night Lights”) and Jeffrey Tambor (Hank Kingsley on “The Larry Sanders Show”). The bad news is the show itself is not real funny. Or interesting. Or original.

NBC is burning off all six “Bent” episodes over the next three weeks, placing it in the path of ratings titans “American Idol,” “Modern Family” and “Criminal Minds.”

HitFix says:

... It is snappy, and funny enough when it needs to be. It is acutely aware of all the will-they/won't-they clichés and enjoys letting Pete, Alex and Ben be aware of them, too. And it has absolutely terrific chemistry between Walton and Peet, the kind that can't be manufactured — even though I've seen many, many unfortunate series try. It's not perfect, but it's also not particularly bent.…

The New York Times says:

... Sometimes it’s best not to think too hard and just embrace the idiocy. If you’re able to bring that mind-set to “Bent,” a screwy comedy NBC introduces on Wednesday night, you’ll have a pretty good time. …

The Los Angeles Times says:

... it is all very well done. If the characters are not particularly original, neither do they come off as artificial. The dialogue is 75% banter, but it is crisp and tart, and the actors make even the ripostes you can predict sound spontaneous. …

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says:

... not a terrible show but it's not particularly good either. … light on an abundance of laughs, surprises and original ideas.

The Washington Post says:

... misses its mark — but not by much and not in any objectionable way.…

The Boston Herald says:

... You’d have more fun watching somebody put up drywall. …

USA Today says:

... Pick whatever form of mild praise you prefer, and odds are it will apply ...

Variety says:

… traffics in rat-a-tat banter that's increasingly common in sitcoms, but rarely this well executed. …

9 p.m. Wednesday. NBC.

 

 

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Readers Talkback

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  • March 21, 2012, 1:55 p.m. CST

    UGH

    by Bodacious_Crumb

    How does Amanda Peet still find work?

  • March 21, 2012, 2:10 p.m. CST

    JB Smoove is the most overexposed person in show business

    by Garbageman33

    The fact that he's funny in very small doses doesn't mean he should appear in every show and commercial on tv.

  • March 21, 2012, 2:10 p.m. CST

    David Walton Is Likeable Enough...

    by CHEWBLACCA

    ...but man, has he been in some shitty sitcoms.

  • Almost praise coming from Hercules when you consider he generally hates sitcoms. It's a mid-season replacement sitcom that most likely won't see a seventh episode. I got a kick out of Traffic Light last year and also enjoyed Perfect Couples. And if it turns out to be as much fun as Happy Endings, all the better.

  • Sure, as long as it's "The Victoria Secret / SI Swimsuit Drywall Show"

  • March 21, 2012, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Can't be any worse than Man Up, Up All Night, Happy Endings

    by Cobb05

    Or a bunch of other crappy sitcoms, including the horrible ones on TV land. The problem is everyone is making comedies about stupid people and most paint themselves in a corner having characters who don't have jobs or have jobs that don't add to the show. In Whitney, she's a photographer who never takes pictures and her boyfriend doesn't seem to have a job. I'm not watching Bent because I hate the annoying guy playing the boyfriend. But it'll probably get the axe in 2 or 3 weeks anyway.

  • March 21, 2012, 5:44 p.m. CST

    happy endings is funny

    by yourSTEPDADDY

    OPINION!

  • March 21, 2012, 10:07 p.m. CST

    I agree; Happy Endings is fun stuff.

    by Dharma4

    Ha, I bet the Brits are gonna have a fun time with that sitcom title

  • March 22, 2012, 1:43 a.m. CST

    Margo Harshman

    by frankenberry

    I still remember the Even Stevens episode in which her character left for acting school. She showed a ton of potential in that episode. Glad to see Harshman didn't drop off the planet, although I do wish she were doing bigger, dramatic roles based on that episode performance.

  • March 22, 2012, 4:04 a.m. CST

    I enjoyed both episodes.

    by Fremen

    While not as funny as other shows, it has it all over a lot of shows that are supposed ratings kings. My opinion is that shows like Office, Parks & Rec., 30 Rock, and Happy Endings aren't that funny. They're okay in small doses, but I can't watch them week after week like some other shows. YMMV

  • March 22, 2012, 6:14 a.m. CST

    Amanda Peet vs Summer Glau

    by OutsideChance

    TB topic for discussion: which hot actress has cursed more projects to fail by her presence. I'd give Glau the edge on TV but Peet has the cache of killing a lot of big movies as well. Thoughts?

  • March 22, 2012, 7:02 a.m. CST

    Wait a second. So 'Bent' is about...

    by buggerbugger

    ...a woman who falls for a man? The title of this series will make no sense in the UK.

  • March 22, 2012, 4:40 p.m. CST

    bent...

    by emeraldboy

    in the uk and ireland means bent as in bent coppers ie bunch of crooks or bent politicians ie bertie ahern and cj haughey. both of them very dodgy...

  • March 23, 2012, 6:36 a.m. CST

    re: "bent in the uk and ireland means bent as in bent coppers"

    by buggerbugger

    It also means 'bent' as in 'gay', which is the meaning I was implying. Bent, opposite of straight. Bender, queer. It doesn't have that connotation over on the emerald isle?