Free Agents (NBC)- Series Premiere: Synopsis and Review
Update: On October 6th, NBC decided to cancel 'Free Agents' due to bad ratings after airing just four episodes. The timeslot was filled with repeats of picked-up show 'Whitney'.
Originally British, NBC decided to make a US adaptation of ‘Free Agents’ on Channel 4. The original version stars Stephen Mangan, who is familiar with things that can go wrong in making such an adaptation through playing in Matt LeBlanc comedy series ‘Episodes’. Chris Niel, the creator and producer in the UK will also write and produce for the stateside version.
‘Free Agents’ is about Alex (Hank Azaria, 'The Simpsons' (voice)) and Helen (Kathryn Hahn, 'Medical Examiners'), both PR executives at the same company. Alex is recently divorced and feels very insecure about his relationship with his children and about being back on the market. Helen has lost her fiance only months before they were getting married, and taking into account the 21 framed pictures and mug with his picture on it, she is not over his death yet. In a drunk mood, Helen and Alex slept together. Even though Helen doesn’t want to start a relationship, saying Alex is not ready for it, they discover that they are attracted to each other.
The tension in ‘Free Agents’ comes from the awkward moments between Alex and Helen, both his crying and the “should we start a relationship even though we’re not ready”-tension, together with the way Helen and Alex are trying to hide their whatever-it-is from their strange colleagues. It is clear that these are the parts that are supposed to be funny, except they are not even remotely amusing. The entire show is tied together with cheesy cliches and doesn’t make you want to know what happens next (you can tell anyway), and neither does it make you laugh.
The bottom line; there are a hundred better ways to spend 30 minutes of your life.