Tonight, NBC starts airing their latest new sitcom, Bent. The series is a romantic comedy which revolves around a womanizing surfer dude contractor named Pete (David Walton, Perfect Couples) and his beautiful no-nonsense client named Alex (Amanda Peet, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip). They come together to renovate her Venice home and somehow they start to hit it off. The rest of the cast includes Margo Harshman, Joey King, and Jeffrey Tambor.
Based on the fact that the peacock network is running Bent this late in the season and burning through all six episodes in three weeks, it seems that NBC execs don’t have much faith in the show. If that’s the case, some of the critics certainly agree. Some of the others however think Bent is worth your time. Which side are you on?
Washington Post: “Walton is the weak spot in Bent’s otherwise fine — and large — ensemble cast, but he grows on you by the third episode. Arrested Development’s Jeffrey Tambor adds another layer as Pete’s semi-delusional father and housemate, Walt, a frustrated stage performer who plays piano in a department store. It’s essentially Tambor doing his stock zany-man part, but it’s a welcome sight here…
Bent is another single-camera cousin of Scrubs and of Cougar Town and prefers to jabber just as fast. Adding all these extra characters seems to be creator Tad Quill’s way of hedging his bets that the show might meaningfully evolve, if given the chance. What happens after Pete and crew finish the kitchen job? A bathroom remodel? You keep wishing she’d kiss him already so we can all move on.”
USA Today: “Still, if the show lacks novelty, it’s not without its appeal… Yet the more episodes you watch, the more you may notice a built-in conundrum for the show as a series. To keep Pete in the house, the show has to slow down the pace of his work — which it does, in future episodes, by having him and his crew devote most of their time to goofing off. But the less he works, the less likable he becomes, and the more he’s likely to remind many viewers of their own not-so-romantic encounters with contractors. Should the show continue, that’s a problem it will have to fix. Making it one more fix Pete will probably never get around to doing.”
NY Daily News: “UNLIKE, SAY, Rob or I Hate My Teenage Daughter, NBC’s new Bent isn’t a terrible sitcom. It’s just flimsy and forgettable… Bent feels like a one-night stand where, in the morning, no one minds if you don’t stay for breakfast.
LA Times: “I won’t dispute the fact that from the floor to the roof much of Bent, a rom-com sitcom debuting Wednesday on NBC, is made from parts stripped from several ages of earlier romantic comedies. But I would also argue that it doesn’t matter much… More would be nice, but what’s here is still worth your while.”
NY Times: “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.”
Boston Herald: “NBC seems to have little confidence in Bent and is burning off its six-episode order in double installments over three weeks. (A second episode airs at 9:30.) You’d have more fun watching somebody put up drywall. Come to think of it, DIY should be airing that right about now.”
What do you think? Are you going to give Bent a try? If you’ve already seen it, what did you think? Will you tune in again?
Image courtesy NBC.