Bent 1.1 “Pilot” Review

Bent 1.1 “Pilot” ReviewIf it weren’t for my lack of Wednesday night programming, the premiere of Bent would’ve gone unnoticed. And I’m sure for some, it did just that. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

The new romantic comedy premiered last night with back-to-back episodes following new episodes of the slightly entertaining Whitney and the cure for insomnia Are You There, Chelsea?. It didn’t take long to see Bent isn’t looking to break new ground for romantic comedies, but would rather stick as closely to the script as possible.

Here’s the skinny: Pete Riggins (David Walton), a handsome, recovering gambling addict is hired to renovate the home of Alex Myers (Amanda Peet), a high-strung lawyer, divorcee, and mother of a 10 year-old daughter named Charlie. As renovation begins so does the sexual tension, and not-so-subtle teases of a future relationship between the two.

Like any romantic comedy, roadblocks such as current relationships, old flames, one-night stands, and the always-on-time train known as ‘What the hell am I doing?’make appearances, during the half-hour sitcom, that would be better served as an hour-long series. The predictability of the show is offset (slightly) by the comedy of Jeff Tambour, who plays Pete’s dad, and JB Smoove, Pete’s gossiping buddy. Honestly speaking, I didn’t find anything during last night’s episodes to be laugh-out-loud funny, but I did crack a chuckle here and there. Baby steps.

Initially, I was going to throw a full vote of confidence behind Bent, and make it a point to watch every Wednesday at 9 PM, but then I found out this season only consists of six episodes. No bueno. Not only did NBC sneak it on the mid-season schedule and barely promote it, they also called up six episodes that will be played back-to-back in three weeks. Talk about a quick and painless death. Have you no compassion for this potential gem, Peacock?

Bent won’t win any awards for originality (or be picked up for a second season), but sure as hell could sweep any award show for predictability and being a by-the-book romantic comedy. That kind of dedication is worthy of applause, or maybe not. If I know NBC like I think I know NBC, Bent doesn’t stand chance, even though its predictability is slightly refreshing and its quirkiness makes for interesting TV.

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