TV Review: Mixology, Series Premiere

mixology

Photo Credit: ABC/Mitchell Haaseth
Photo Credit: ABC/Mitchell Haaseth

Everything I knew about Mixology spelled instant hit to me. From the writers of The Hangover, Mixology is a half hour comedy about singles searching for love in a Manhattan bar over the course of one night. I find the concept to be completely refreshing and original. How many TV shows take place over the course of one night?? Think about the binge-watching possibilities alone!

Photo Credit: ABC/Ron Batzdorff
Photo Credit: ABC/Ron Batzdorff

But as we all know, an original concept is not enough to carry a TV show. It has to be executed well, too. And if you’re stretching out the course of one night over an entire season, and your entire plot is “singles searching for love,” then that would have to make this a character-based show. Which is even better! Amirite? Nobody loves a character-driven show more than I do. I mean, clearly. I’m still completely and utterly obsessed with Grey’s Anatomy, the most glorious of all character-driven shows in the universe. So I said it and so it shall be known.

Unfortunately for the writers of The Hangover (Jon Lucas and Scott Moore), they just don’t seem to be that great at writing characters. *Cue a crapload of glass crashing down around us, for sound effect.*

There is something intriguing about the structure of Mixology that will probably keep me watching for at least a few more weeks, hoping it will get better. And that’s definitely the one night structure. But having seen the first two episodes, I really couldn’t get past the shallow, stereotypical characterization. The writing relies heavily on creating completely flat characters that are exactly who you’d expect them to be. And good writing, especially good comedy, is drawn from characters breaking the mold and taking on habits you wouldn’t expect.

But that’s not even the half of it. How do we meet these boring, typical, stereotypes of characters? We get these godawful narrated montages, shoving their personalities down our throats. First of all, narration is rarely necessary and its hard to do well. Show, don’t tell! Narration should not be used as a way to tell us exactly what happened verbatim, ever. Second of all, I haven’t figured out who is narrating these character back stories yet, but he has the most annoying voice on the planet and I want to strangle him.*

*I would like it noted that I do not have a history of violence, nor would I ever actually strangle someone. I just really hate narration.

Photo CreditL ABC/Ron Batzdorff
Photo CreditL ABC/Ron Batzdorff

Basically, these narrated segments tell the audience how the characters grew up, and what made them exactly the way that they are. Aside from the sloppy writing here, I also take issue with the fact that each character quirk is extremely cut and dry. As if one particular instance in a person’s childhood is the reason they don’t know how to love. It’s ridiculous. The show over-simplifies complex issues and tries to masquerade this as a form of comedy, all while assuming the audience is stupid and needs characterization spelled out for them.

Now, I won’t discount the show completely. As I mentioned, there is something intriguing about it, and I’m curious if Lucas and Moore are going to turn out to be fantastic at plot, and somewhere down the line we’ll figure out how everything that’s happened on this night fits together in a glorious grand scheme and it will blow all of our minds. The Lost of comedy, if you will.

But I doubt it. Sometimes there’s a reason a show gets pushed to mid-season replacement. Sorry, not sorry.

Apparently that’s how I end reviews now. I’m owning it. #SorryNotSorry

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