NBC's 'Bent' doesn't quite click
March 22nd, 2012
03:00 PM ET

NBC's 'Bent' doesn't quite click

There's a lot to like about "Bent," especially on paper.

Amanda Peet has been great in just about everything, David Walton showed promise on the short-lived "Perfect Couples," and you really can't go wrong with Jeffrey Tambor ("Arrested Development") and J.B. Smoove (.Curb Your Enthusiasm").

Wednesday night's two-episode premiere also featured whip-smart dialogue at times, especially between Peet and Walton, as Alex the homeowner and Pete the contractor, respectively.

It's somewhat reminiscent of Murphy Brown and her constant house painter Eldin (though it was pretty clear that relationship would remain platonic). Pete, the very model of a southern California surfer dude, and Alex as the single mom who runs a tight ship (eventually firing him because he slept with her kids' nanny).

The two had great chemistry from the get-go, and she, of course, rehired him when he got his aging actor dad James (Tambor) to help out her daughter.

In the second episode, Pete taunted Alex as she struggled to take it to the next level with her boyfriend, while James ended up being upstaged at an audition by one of Pete's employees.

There were individual scenes I enjoyed, but something about it just didn't flow. I can't say I laughed out loud that often, but you can see that the actors are putting their all into the show.

There are elements of a good show here, but as is the case with many spring mid-season replacements, there is little time for a series to find itself. This won't be enough to compete with "Modern Family" when it returns with new episodes. (Not to mention the fact that NBC appears to be airing two episodes at a time. It doesn't seem like they have much faith in the show.)

I would be pleasantly surprised to see "Bent" return next season, but if it doesn't succeed, I hope the cast and writers can find a better show next go-round.

Did you catch "Bent?" Will you tune in next week? Share your view on video or comment below.


soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Savannahannah

    I think this is a smart sitcom. The interaction between the two main characters is just snarky enough, in spite of their obvious lust for each other, to make it truly hilarious. And the story lines have a lot of variety that comes from a large number of witty entanglements between other characters as well. The recent episode with Marcia Gay Harden in a guest role as the ex-wife of Jeffrey Tambor's character, Walt Riggins (and the mother of David Walton's character, Pete Riggins) was both humorous and very on-point in dealing with the dynamic between two exes and their grown son.
    I hope this show is not lost because the network can't give it a little time to develop a following, as so often happens.

    April 20, 2012 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  2. Big Fan

    I loved this show. It beats out any of the other 6 shows I have been watching. I really love Amanda Peet and the dialogue between her and the contractor. I thought this was a good romance with a lot of light-hearted characters and fun in between. I really wish NBC would have aired it on another night or done something else to keep the longevity of the show going.

    April 13, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Nailah

    NBC is doing great with its comedy line-up.I am enjoying BENT!Smoove and Pasha!!! Entire cast!

    March 29, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mark

    Intelligent shows do not stand a chance on basic channels. America only wants fart jokes or fat guys wtih attractive wives from shows like the ones on CBS. Shows with real people with real problems need to be on the cable networks.

    March 23, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  5. Debbie

    I watched both episodes of Bent and liked them. I hope NBC gives it a chance. I also agree with Snorlax, bring back Outsourced.

    March 22, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rick

    I liked it, it needs work but every show in it's infancy does. It takes time to figure out the characters and direction of the show in conjunction with the strengths of the actors. Watch early episodes of Seinfeld and you will see how it matured with age. Bent felt like a diluted (you can't get away with certain things on network that you can on cable) version on Californication. I thought Amanda was adorable, I liked David Walton and Tambor and Smoove are always hilarious, let Smoove loose to do his thing though.
    I thought the dialogue was too snappy and times but like I said earlier, it will hopefully mature with age.

    March 22, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Snorlax

    Dump it and bring back "Outsourced"...

    March 22, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mark

    I saw Bent and actually liked it. Felt like a lot of shows from the past (including Moonlighting), but the actors were fun. I hope it lasts a while longer.

    March 22, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. RONINSF

    NO – COMMUNITY IS FAR THE BEST SHOW ON THIS NETWORK – VERY FUNNY CAST, VERY FUNNY STORY LINES; 30 ROCK IS STARTING TO DRAG ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY SHOW MORE OF TRACY MORGAN (HE SHOULD BE WRITTEN OFF THE SHOW); I LIKED THE NEW CHANGE THE OFFICE HAS PRESENTED TO KEEP THE SHOW FRESH. NICE HAVING SOME SMART COMEDY ON TV.

    March 22, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. BK

    I thought both episodes of "Bent" were pretty good. It sure beats "Up All Night". Some of the material was pretty funny.

    March 22, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Observer

    Yeah, especially that show with the baby with the football shaped head and the talking dog that smokes cigars! DRECK!

    March 22, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Snorlax@Observer

      Oh, you mean The Simpsons...You are right, that show stinks...

      March 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trish

      You are exactly right ! The special effects are just so lame. That wormhole is just a cheap ripoff of the stargate. Plus a talking baby. No one in their right mind would believe that nonsense.

      March 22, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Stu

    Yea I don't watch NBC anymore for that reason Observer. I seriously don't get the appeal of 30 Rock or Community. I've tried a few eps of each on Netflix/Hulu and they're just...bleh.

    March 22, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Observer

    Liberal garbage. I remember a time when NBC actually had quality on it. Now it is this dreck, along with "Community", "30 Schlock" and "The Unfunny Office"...

    Sheesh, read a book already!

    March 22, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      RoboObserver strikes again with yet another one of her bafflingly irrelevant and unrelated political commentaries.

      March 23, 2012 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |

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