Pilot Review: ‘Bent’
Bent is a funny, well written, well received comedy. Bent is on NBC. Bent doesn’t stand a chance.
The show’s premise is simple enough. Single mother Alex (Amanda Peet) hires contractor Pete (David Walton) to fix up her new house, hilarity ensues. Sitcoms don’t have to have complex premises. The best sitcom of all time (Seinfeld) didn’t have any premise whatsoever. What sitcoms do have to have, however, are actors who understand comedy, and witty writing. Bent has both in abundance. Peet is an excellent comedic actress and she has great chemistry with Walton, a veteran of several failed sitcoms who might be the show’s weak link (seriously, check out his imdb page, it’s like a sitcom graveyard). What really makes the show tick is its supporting cast which features Jeffrey Tambour (Arrested Development), JB Smoove (Leon from Curb Your Enthusiasm), and most surprisingly Jesse Plemons (Landry from Friday Night Lights) as the straight man. The writing may have some rough edges, but the assembled comedic talent more than compensates. Bent would fit wonderfully alongside Parks and Recreation and Community on Thursdays. It’s certainly a better show than the derptastic Whitney, the somehow worse Are You There Chelsea?, or the zombie corpse of The Office.
Now here’s the bad news. Bent has absolutely no chance of survival, because we’re not allowed to have nice things. In all seriousness, despite decent critical buzz, the network has decided to run the show against Modern Family and burn off episodes two at a time, because that’s how NBC does business. ABC would have at least given this show a chance to succeed — CBS wouldn’t touch it, because CBS designs their programming to appeal to people who think the Doritos Locos Taco is a good idea — like it has with Happy Endings (which you should be watching) and some of its other comedies. In fact, given the character of the show, Bent would have probably have been a better fit on ABC. Of course you could say that for just about any show on NBC. So enjoy having Amanda Peet on your TV while it lasts folks, because it won’t last long.