Thursday, September 15, 2011

TV PILOT REVIEW: NBC's "Free Agents"

Hank Azaria has been a supporting cast member for the last 20 years, and "Free Agents" is his first lead role in a series. In it, he plays a recently divorced public relations executive who finds comfort in the bed of his coworker Helen (Kathryn Hahn from My Idiot Brother and "Crossing Jordan"), who's having trouble getting over the death of her fiancé. Yes, all of that sounds incredibly morbid, but I promise you it isn't. You'll laugh when elevator music subliminally brings him to tears while he's trying to ask Helen out on a date, when a post-coital conversation turns him into a basket-case, and when he's forced to graphically describe their sex to all of his coworkers when his politically incorrect boss asks him about the previous night.
The series also boasts a great cast. Helen, his reluctant friend-with-benefits, is embarrassingly dismissive towards his advances and hysterically obsessed with her late fiancé. His demanding boss Stephen (Anthony Head from "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer") is a shockingly inappropriate Brit who reminds me of a suaver Ricky Gervais. His bitchy executive assistant Emma (comedian Natasha Leggero) is abrasive, undercutting, and dry. And his married coworker Gregg (above, Al Madrigal from "Gary Unmarried"), who practically begs to be included in all single-people conversation and activities, is a dorky, desperate putz who behaves like a nerdy freshman following around the cool senior jocks. The series has a solid cast with Tweet-worthy one liners, making a fine addition to the work place comedy subgenre.

> "It's not sass. This is how it is. Lions don't eat deer because they're sassy. It's called Darwinism."-Emma
> "You look like Willy Lohman."-Helen's reference to Death of a Salesman while describing Alex's wardrobe

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