Fall Pilots Preview: Free Agents
(With a little over a month until the fall’s crop of new shows hits, now seems like a good a time to start previewing all of the new network offerings. As I’m not a professional critic, I don’t get access to all of the nice, shiny screeners that the pros do, so I’m basing my opinions somewhat on their thoughts as well as on teaser clips that the networks have released. These are very rough thoughts that could very well change once I’ve seen a full pilot. With that in mind, onto the preview.)
Who: Stars Hank Azaria (The Simpsons), Kathryn Hahn (Step Brothers), Al Madrigal (The Daily Show), and Anthony Head (Buffy The Vampire Slayer)
When: Wednesdays at 8:30 PM (Premieres September 14 at 10:30 PM)
What: NBC’s description via The Futon Critic: Free Agents is a crooked workplace/romantic new comedy from creator John Enbom (Party Down) and Emmy Award-winning director Todd Holland (Malcolm in the Middle) based on the cult U.K. series of the same name that explores the trials and tribulations of two public relations executives on the rebound. Alex (Hank Azaria, The Simpsons, Huff) is newly divorced and can barely keep himself together while his co-worker Helen (Kathryn Hahn, Hung) thinks she has it together but is obsessed with her deceased fiancé and actually is falling apart. Then a drunken Alex and Helen end up in bed together, and in the resulting sober confusion, Helen decides that they should only be friends. Meanwhile Alex’s co-workers, Dan (Mo Mandel, Love Bites, Modern Family) and Gregg (Al Madrigal, Wizards of Waverly Place, Gary, Unmarried), and Stephen (Anthony Head, Merlin, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) fail in their attempts to help him get back out on the dating scene. When Alex finally agrees to a date, Helen gets a little jealous, and he gets cold feet, so they end up back where they started — in a casual, intimate and beautifully awkward relationship. Also starring is Joe Lo Truglio (Backwash, Mad Love) and Natasha Leggero (Ugly Americans, ‘Til Death). Free Agents is a production of Universal Media Studios in association with Dark Toy and Big Talk Productions. Enbom is executive producer/creator along with executive producer/director Holland. Karey Burke (Miss/Guided) executive-produces, along with Big Talk Productions’ Kenton Allen (Free Agents, BBC Network) and Nira Park, as well as Chris Niel.”
Jeremy Likes TV’s Thoughts: There are a lot of people creatively involved in this that I like (Enbom’s Party Down was pretty close to genius, I’ve always been a fan of Azaria, and it’s great to see Head back on TV because, as has been mentioned, I support Buffy alumni) but the buzz on this from most of the critics that I follow is just toxic. If someone’s said something good about Free Agents, I’ve yet to see it. That said, I’m at least checking out the pilot but I’m tempering my expectations quite a great deal from where they were when the show was announced.
Chances It Gets A Full Season: 15%
Recommendation: Thumbs squarely in the middle. I have a hard time believing that this much talent can be responsible for a complete dud, but I suppose it’s possible.
Other Reading About Free Agents:
The Futon Critic