September 15, 2011

TV: Free Agents (NBC, Wed 8:30)

Alex and Helen (Hank Azaria and Kathryn Hahn) are co-workers at a corporate PR firm specializing in crisis management. After a night of too much drinking, they wind up in bed together, and the rest of the series will apparently follow them through the fallout from that night.

They're both emotional wrecks. Alex is recently divorced, and Helen's fiance died a year ago; neither has gotten over the loss. And they're both smart enough to recognize that they should not be getting involved. But the attraction is just too strong, and by the end of the pilot, they're back in bed again.

There are some nice supporting players. Natasha Leggero is sharp as Alex's assistant, and Anthony Stewart Head is cheerfully obnoxious as the firm's boss (he played the same role in the British series on which this is based).

The problem is that Alex and Helen are both such wrecks and so unlikable that it's difficult to root for either of them, much less for the two of them as a couple. I can see this "we can't sleep together / let's sleep together" dynamic maybe being interesting enough to sustain the six episodes that made up the British version, but over a 13- or 22-week season? It's going to get repetitious really fast.

No comments: