While we’re the first to admit that BENT may not be the type of genre-busting comedy akin to THE OFFICE or a MODERN FAMILY, NBC’s latest attempt to work themselves out of the ratings basement does have two very important things going for it. As a down-on-his-luck contractor and a newly divorced single mother, actors David Walton (Pete) and Amanda Peet (Alex) have the kind of crackling romantic chemistry money can’t buy. Add to that an immensely likeable supporting cast including Alex’s daughter (Joey King), Pete’s construction crew (J.B. Smoove, Jesse Plemons and Pasha Lychnikoff) and opinionated father (Jeffrey Tambor) — and what your left with is a solid foundation from which to build seasons and seasons of laughter off of. Assuming of course NBC handles it with care and decides to move the show away from the time-slot juggernaut that pits this charming little series against MODERN FAMILY, AMERICAN IDOL and CRIMINAL MINDS.
Still not convinced? As a public service to fans of quality scripted programming, theTVaddict.com has taken it upon itself to cull together some more positive thoughts from the country’s leading television critics. See for yourself, after the jump.
Neil Genzlinger, The New York 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. Read the full review >>
Ellen Gray, Philadelphia Daily News
The premise – boy meets girl, boy takes forever redoing girl’s kitchen – may not sound fresh, but there’s something cooking in BENT that’s worth hanging out for. Read the full review >>
Robert Lloyd, The Los Angeles Times
Formula does not always betoken a lack of imagination; sometimes it just betokens an active embrace of formula. And BENT (a bad title, I think, not sufficiently justified by one character’s description of himself as “bent, not bowed”) builds a nice little shelter in a classic style. Read the full review >>
Matt Roush, TV Guide Magazine
Watching NBC’s BENT is like sitcom speed dating, with all six episodes of this midseason tryout airing over three weeks of back-to-back episodes on Wednesdays. The scheduling is odd, but BENT is the sort of funky offbeat comedy that grows on you, so watching more than one episode at a sitting turns out to be a good thing. Read the full review >>Read the full review >>
Maureen Ryan, Huffington Post
BENT, a goofy romantic comedy about an amusingly irresponsible contractor and his uptight client, is a little stiff in its early outings, but it loosens up over its first half-dozen episodes. As is the case with contractor Pete Riggins (David Walton), BENT grows more shaggily endearing over time, and if you’re already a fan of the goofy/sharp vibes on display in HAPPY ENDINGS, COUGAR TOWN and SUBURGATORY, this new NBC ensemble comedy should be right up your alley. Read the full review >>
Alan Sepinwall, HitFix
Creatively, BENT is actually in better shape than most of its characters. It is snappy, and funny enough when it needs to be. It is acutely aware of all the will-they/won’t-they clichés and enjoys letting Pete, Alex and Ben be aware of them, too. And it has absolutely terrific chemistry between Walton and Peet, the kind that can’t be manufactured — even though I’ve seen many, many unfortunate series try. It’s not perfect, but it’s also not particularly bent. (Wrinkled, maybe.) Read the full review >>
Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly
Boo to NBC for essentially burning off six episodes of this charming sitcom (two a week) and putting it up against MODERN FAMILY. MODERN fans might be beguiled by the clever interplay between Amanda Peet as a single mom and the goofy but lovable guy she hires to renovate her home. He’s played by David Walton with mush-mouthed loucheness (Walton appeared on the underrated PERFECT COUPLES, of which BENT creator Tad Quill is also a graduate). Costarring Jeffrey Tambor as Walton’s dramatic dad, this eccentric romantic comedy deserves a chance to survive. Read the full review >>
The TV Addict staff blogs at The TV Addict.