- Looking for love in specifically one wrong place.
According to voice-over narration provided by a character named Bruce, ABC’s new sitcom Mixology is “the story of ten strangers, one night, and all of the stupid, embarrassing things we do to find love.” I watched the premiere episode, and if I had that narrator gig, I think I would have said something more like: “Mixology is like being condemned to purgatory if purgatory were a bar filled with unlikable people.”
It’s ironic (or whatever) that a show about the importance of first impressions—i.e., meeting people in a bar setting in the hopes that intercourse will be an option sooner rather than later—would make such a shitty one. The “high” concept: each episode focuses on two people who meet in a crowded bar on the night in question; in episode one, it’s an ill-suited twosome called Tom and Maya. We’re removed from the bar for flashback scenes that explain—from the moment of their births—why these two people are terrible at dating, if not just terrible in general. (Tom is an eager-to-please mama’s boy; Maya’s cold because her father didn’t love her.) Other than that we’d appear to be trapped in a room with only impossibly paced dialogue, frenetic editing, and lots of words that mean “promiscuous woman” to keep us company.
Which brings us back to Bruce . . .
It says something that the writers—the guys who wrote The Hangover, which I liked, sequels notwithstanding—chose Tom’s friend Bruce to narrate the premiere episode (hell, he might narrate the whole series; who knows?). Bruce is the worst. He knows he’s the worst—in his first moments onscreen he tells Tom, “I get laid all the time, and I’m disgusting from head to toe”— but it doesn’t make him any less the worst. And, really, it’s not that the word “whore” spills so comfortably from his lips or that he talks about needing Kleenex because he “pops off” everywhere—it’s that it just seems boring. The unencumbered male subconscious made flesh! So edgy! It’ll be great and I’ll eat my words if in future episodes he consistently does or says things that aren’t just for shock value.
Anyway, Tom attempts to hit on Maya and it goes terribly and she’s really unkind to him. He still wants her phone number, of course, because she’s hot, and, against all odds, he gets it! What’s next for Tom and Maya? A proper date? Marriage? Kids? I’d tell you, but I’m stuck with a bunch of jerks in this awful bar.