Bent – Pilot/Smitten

by Alan Rapp on March 23, 2012

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Bent – Pilot
  • tv.com: link

bent-pilot

The latest from Scrubs and Spin City writer/producer stars Amanda Peet as Alex Meyers, a ball-busing lawyer and single mother whose ex-husband has recently been incarcerated for insider trading.  In the Pilot Alex hires Pete (David Walton), an irresponsible womanizer, to renovate her kitchen.

Supporting roles include Alex’s 8-year-old daughter Charlie (Joey King), Alex’s promiscuous younger sister with the unfortunate nickname of Screwsie (Margo Harshman), Pete’s father Walt (Jeffrey Tambor), Charlie’s nanny Simone (Susan Park), and Pete’s contracting team Vlad (Pasha D. Lychnikoff), Clem (J.B. Smoove), and Garrett (Jesse Plemons).

The Pilot episode centers around Alex hiring, firing, and then rehiring the far too laid back Pete who infuriates her by sleeping with Charlie’s nanny but wins back Alex’s good graces by solving Charlie’s stage fright about her first performance at a piano recital.

As pilot episodes go Bent is pretty by-the-numbers. Peet is spent mostly spinning her wheels in a role, at least in this first episode, that doesn’t show off her comedic timing. Tambor has one nice moment at the end of the episode, but he too feels far too underutilized for a show that struggles for laughs.


  • Title: Bent – Smitten
  • tv.com: link

bent-smitten

Relationships are the theme of Bent’s second episode. Pete runs into his ex-girlfriend Natalie (Diora Baird) on a night out with the boys, and Alex’s struggles with the idea of getting physical with her new boyfriend Ben (Matt Letscher), who it’s obvious Charlie doesn’t like, after being celibate for nearly a year.

The little league game involving Charlie and Ben’s nonathletic son Joffrey (Paul R Grace) which Alex and Ben are coaching becomes the latest public event for a blow-up between Pete and Natalie. Natalie, who to be fair isn’t entirely stable, is sure something is going on between Pete and Alex, and after their blow-up Ben thinks she may be right.

Although there’s still no real chemistry between Alex and Pete, both are better off with the partners they’re with in this episode, the actors feel a little more comfortable with their characters and the script provides some genuinely funny moments including Clem’s inability to keep a secret and Ben’s ill-fated story about holding a fetal pig’s heart in an attempt to get Charlie to like him that goes so very wrong.

That said, we’re still stuck with a back-up story centered around Pete’s father losing an acting gig to Garrett that simply doesn’t work. After one episode I’ve already seen an improvement in the show, but there still problematic elements (including wasting the talents of several supporting characters, and the lack of heat between two characters on a show that’s built around the idea of their attraction towards each other) that may take quite some time to iron out.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Annie March 23, 2012 at 11:19 am

I love Amanda Peete and am happy to be able to watch her on tv again but Walton is bland and he isn’t as funny or attractive as he thinks.

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