It seems NBC has an overload of half-hour comedies at the moment. Wednesday and Thursday nights both have 2 hour blocks! It’s a lot of laughing, hypothetically. Some I may not find as funny as others. But I’m not here to talk about those, I’m here to talk about the newest member of the comedy lineup over at the Peacock, Bent. I love it. Loooove it. You may even say I’m smitten. And I’m here to tell you why and to plead with you all to watch.
1. Amanda Peet and David Walton, who play the leads in this romantic comedy, Alex Meyers and Pete Riggins, are both gorgeous, charming and unafraid to be ridiculous in order to be funny. Perhaps this makes you hate them out of pure jealousy. It shouldn’t, because as I pointed out, they act ridiculous. Alex falls off ladders. Pete tries to be cool riding a motorcycle, but just keeps flooding the engine. They are dorks. Super hot dorks. It’s fantastic. Alex’s uptight homeowner matched with (and constantly annoyed by) Pete’s easy-going contractor may be the makings of a fairly common romantic pairing, but somehow it seems entirely fresh. I give credit to Peet and Walton. And the writers, natch.
2. The “Precocious Child” role that is necessary for any “Single Mother” part (Alex is the single mom), is often filled with a character I find grating. I am a mother, so perhaps I shouldn’t say things like, “Geez, the kid on that show is awful and I wish he’d be eaten by zombies” but it happens. And yes, I am still mad at Carl on The Walking Dead. And Lori. But I digress… Little Frankie Meyers (played by Joey King, or as my daughter said when she walked in the room, “RAMONA!”) is adorable, funny, and probably a little more adult than the adults a good portion of the time. Also she is perfect in scenes with Jeffrey Tambor, which brings me to….
3. Jeffrey Tambor. Listen, if you only watch as a way to have a Jeffrey Tambor Placeholder while dealing with the infinitely long wait until we finally get some new Arrested Development, that is good enough. He plays a quirky father to the main character (sound familiar?!) and is just as genius here as he was there. Plus any character that questions a child’s choice to play Pachelbel’s Canon because it isn’t exactly a crowd pleaser is A+ in my book.
4. LANDRY! Okay, so Jesse Plemmon’s isn’t playing Landry on this show, he plays new guy on the crew, Gary. But as you may have noticed he is on a show where he is often in the room with a handsome and cocky guy with the last name Riggins. It isn’t exactly an FNL sequel, but it’s close. I know, I know. It isn’t close. But I’m just so happy about it, so let me have my moment. And while we are talking about the crew, JB Smoove as Clem and Pasha D. Lychnikoff as Vlad round out the truly bizarre group of people working on Alex’s home. They aren’t your typical group of characters, that’s for sure.
5. When Alex first interviews Pete, she is worried that because he slept with the married woman on his last job he may be thinking there would be a similar set up with her. It leads to this conversation:
Alex: I’m just saying, there will be no monkey business.
Pete: Oh. No, no, no. I hate monkey business. Yeah I never… use that phrase.
That conversation takes place less than 3 minutes into the pilot. I had already at least giggled audibly 3 times by that point. Walton’s delivery of the line was perfect and I laughed out loud and fell instantly in love with this show. There were many, many, many more moments like this throughout the first two episodes.
Please, check it out. The first two episodes can be found on Hulu. The next two episodes air Wednesday night at 9pm on NBC. My article doesn’t even do it justice. Just take 20 minutes and watch at least the first one. Heck, just take 7 minutes and watch the first act. If you don’t laugh out loud, I think you may not understand humor.
I’m hoping this show grows an audience and get a second season! Oh, and hey, while you’re on Hulu, check out the sneak preview of the pilot for Best Friends Forever, which will be airing alongside Bent starting April 4th at 8:30pm on NBC. I loved that as well. Please, watch the well written comedies!!! Save them!!
Written by Melissa Miller. Find her on twitter @serrae