Mini-review: Mixology 1×1-1×2 (ABC)

A rom-com without the rom or the com

Mixology

In the US: Wednesdays, 9.30/8.30c, ABC

Sometimes, the best ideas get the worse implementations. Rom-coms are generally very predictable. Boy meets girl, boy and girl like each/hate each, obstacles keep them apart/bring them together and then they wind up together. The end.

So you’ve got to hand it to ABC for trying to be a little different with Mixology, a one-season long ‘romantic mystery’ in which a whole group of men and women meet each other in a bar one night and you have to work out who’s going to end up with whom by the end of the season, each episode focusing on a different potential pairing.

Nifty so far, hey? Maybe you’re worried that the ‘one night’ thing will be too limiting? Don’t worry – there’s flashbacks aplenty to give you background story.

Should be a winner, huh?

Unfortunately, this is a show from the writers of The Hangover. Nothing wrong with the first movie, which was a lot funnier and cleverer than you might have expected. However, all that movie’s insight into women (next to none) and general sensitivity (next to none) appears to have been funnelled into this show, too.

Because it’s just horrible. It contains men who really shouldn’t be allowed out of a prison cell, let alone date; its women are basically that same kind of man with breasts. Laughs then revolve around crassness and gross outs, rather than characterisation, clever writing or strong plotting.

Or even – and here’s a thought – romance.

None of the cast redeem themselves with subversive, intelligent or incisive performances. The writing never rises above a level where you want to do anything beyond napalm ABC for making the show. It’s wretched.

Sorry ABC – there’s experimental but sometimes you have to know when your hypothesis is just wrong from the very beginning.