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Monday, August 8, 2011

PILOT REVIEW: Friends With Benefits

FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS










Starring: Ryan Hansen, Dannell Ackles, Zach Cregger, Andre Holland, Jessica Lucas
Created by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
Written by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, Directed by David Dobkin

Friends With Benefits is a sitcom that is being burned off on NBC this summer. Originally intended to be a part of the 2010-2011 lineup, it never quite made it to the air until now (you'd think NBC would have been able to find a place for it considering all the sitcom bombs they aired this season). As the title implies, it focuses on two friends (Ben and Sara) who are best friends that are unlucky in love and in the meantime, they sleep with each other. As is necessary in a romantic comedy of today's day and age, they are rounded out by a quirky class of young urban friends. In the pilot, both Ben and Sara experience another bad date while two other friends hook up.

This show is not anything new. In fact, in a season that saw Happy Endings, Traffic Light, Perfect Couples, etc - it actually seems like I've already seen it. The thing is, it's not the worst of its genre and I'm surprised NBC picked the dreadful Perfect Couples to air in January over this, which was only ok at best but not nearly as bad as Couples. The show started strong (the banter between Ben and Sarah) and ended strong (a very funny tag scene) but in-between, there were lots of problems that this show would need to work out if this show was to actually have a chance of continuing. The flashbacks and flashforwards were overused here (and in the genre in general), it was way too cutesy at times, and it bordered on the side of ridiculous at times (such as the horse scene). It's not anything special, it's just not the worst urban romantic comedy of the season.

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