Stars: Hank Azaria, Kathryn Hahn, Mo Mandel, Al Madrigal, Natasha Leggero, Anthony Head, Joe Lo Truglio
John Enbom & Chris Niel
Todd Holland
NBC, Wednesdays @ 9:30 PM
September 14, 2011

The U.S.networks continually make American versions of shows that do well in their home countries, with Great Britain being a favorite venue for acquiring fare for adaptation. On the successful end, there’s THE OFFICE. On the other end, there’s COUPLING. FREE AGENTS is somewhere on this scale, but it starts out with a lot of promise. Not only does it have a great cast, led by Hank Azaria and Kathryn Hahn, but the writing by John Enbom & Chris Niel is snappy and intelligent, with underlying heart and a sense of decency. This is even more surprising given the world in which the characters work: they’re corporate image consultants.

Azaria’s character Alex can’t stop bursting into tears over his divorce, and Hahn’s Helen is still reeling from the death of her fiancé a year ago. As Alex and Helen are pals, they comfort each other – and wind up in bed together. Alex kinda/sorta thinks there may be something here, but Helen is convinced that a romance would be disastrous, not least because they work together. She valiantly attempts to get Alex back on the dating horse, while their coworkers get just enough information to figure out that Alex got lucky with an unknown someone. This might be swept away with the remains of the office’s morning coffee, except that boss Stephen (Anthony Head), a man who doesn’t know the meaning of the word “boundaries,” wants details.

Head (most famous as Buffy’s Watcher Giles on BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER) is reprising his role from the U.K.version of FREE AGENTS, but fits perfectly into the U.S. edition. His performance as the erudite, insensitive and ever-happy fellow who knows he’s got it made is delightful – he’s outrageous yet clever, rather than the oft-used sitcom default of outrageous and idiotic.

Azaria has a great combination of soulful demeanor and perfect dry comedic timing, and Hahn is very likable as the somewhat brittle yet warm woman trying to work around her own volatile emotions.

FREE AGENTS, from its opener, is charming, brisk and funny. If workplace comedy with a bit of romance is your thing, this is probably for you.


Click on Link: AX’s review of UP ALL NIGHT – “Pilot” – Series Premiere

Article Source: Assignment X
Article: TV Review – FREE AGENTS – Season 1 – “Pilot”


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