We’re just going to say it: We love “Bent.” The new NBC series starring Amanda Peet is romantic comedy at its best. Peete plays Alex, a high-strung recently divorced mother (whose cheating husband is in prison for insider trading). David Walton is unnervingly charming as Pete Riggins, an irresponsible, oversexed contractor hired to re-do Alex’s kitchen.
(Yes, Riggins. If you’re a “Friday Night Lights” fan… Pete definitely seems like he’s from the family tree.)
The leads are strong and immediately likable, but the heart of the show is in its supporting characters. Both Alex and Pete are packaged deals — they come with patched-together families you’re sure to fall in love with.
Alex’s daughter Charlie (Joey King) is precocious without being obnoxious. Her sister, “Screwsie” is pretty much what you’d expect from her nickname — a tequila day-drinker with a Riggins-like streak of her own. Riggins’ construction team consists of a rag-tag group of lovable idiots, including “Friday Night Lights'” Jesse Plemmons as the naive newbie who essentially gets treated like a frat pledge. Jeffrey Tambor plays Riggins’ dad James, a small-time actor.
The appeal is in the blending of these two groups of people, who quickly become a giant family unit of their own. While the series does falter a bit in its first handful of episodes as the contractors get comfortable in Alex’s home, once the show finds its footing there’s a near-perfect balance between big laughs and heartwarming moments.
Most importantly, the chemistry between Pete and Alex sizzles. You’ll find yourself rooting for them to just get married already before you know it.
Tune in to the first two episodes Wednesday (March 21) on NBC at 9 p.m. EST.