Hercules Is Altogether Meh
About NBC’s New Sitcom BENT!!
“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.”
... 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.…
... 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. …
... 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. …
... not a terrible show but it's not particularly good either. … light on an abundance of laughs, surprises and original ideas.
... misses its mark — but not by much and not in any objectionable way.…
... You’d have more fun watching somebody put up drywall. …
... Pick whatever form of mild praise you prefer, and odds are it will apply ...
… 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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March 21, 2012, 1:55 p.m. CST
How does Amanda Peet still find work?
March 21, 2012, 2:10 p.m. CST
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
...but man, has he been in some shitty sitcoms.
March 21, 2012, 2:27 p.m. CST
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.
March 21, 2012, 2:31 p.m. CST
Sure, as long as it's "The Victoria Secret / SI Swimsuit Drywall Show"
March 21, 2012, 3:20 p.m. CST
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
March 21, 2012, 10:07 p.m. CST
Ha, I bet the Brits are gonna have a fun time with that sitcom title
March 22, 2012, 1:43 a.m. CST
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
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
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
...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
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
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?
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