Third-episode verdict: Bent (NBC)

The CarusometerA Carusometer rating of 4

In the US: Wednesdays, 9/8c, NBC

Well, Bent is still broken but it did get slightly better in the latest episode. After a deeply uninspiring first couple of episodes last week, things did start to improve slightly this week with its third episode.

The problems essentially remain the same: a "will they, won’t they?" romance between two people whom you really don’t care about either way; actors not exactly on their game; supporting characters who are more liability than support; and a surprising inability, even with some pretty decent comedy writing, to elicit laughs.

But in episode three, we started to look further afield from the two leads to give the support some characterisation, with Swoozie still the only decent character in the show; David Walton started to rein in his performance; and the writing managed to shine through with some decent direction so that there were some actual funny moments, largely involving cell phones but also Peet’s bedroom decor.

It’s a start, anyway. It’s still not that funny a show, but it’s not the total train wreck the first two episodes suggested. I’ll keep an eye on it for you, but at the moment, particularly given the catastrophically low ratings, I wouldn’t recommend watching it.

Carusometer rating: 4
Rob’s prediction: Cancelled before the season even finishes, but if it manages to limp that far, it won’t get renewed for a second season.

Author

  • I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.