I gave the new show called Benders a try tonight. The premise is four guys on a recreational hockey team, and what happens in their lives around it. The initial premise of this show, at least according to the description, is that the four are really devoted to their team and playing hockey, and it messes with the rest of their life. More or less. It sounded like it could be interesting, not sure it’s a strong enough premise for a full series, but hey, I thought I would give it a go. For those reading this blog, you probably already know I don’t watch many comedies (basically only one at this point, The Big Bang Theory).
And I have to confess two things for this show. First, it is really well done. It reminds me a lot of the original series from the UK called Couples (not the US remake version). Take the show, take a premise for the episode and just run with it. It feels in part like a giant improv sketch as the main character is thinking the rest will think it is all nuts, but they go with the premise leaving the main guy completely discombobulated. So, this show does that, and does it in spades. In the opener, Paul goes to visit his grandfather. Grandpa says, “Life sucks, I’m old, please kill me.” Except it isn’t a metaphor, he’s really asking him to kill him. Which his three friends think he should totally do, so the rest of the episode is him visiting some mobsters, etc. It’s really well done, and if you like that surreal type of WTF moments as they negotiate whether or not to shove grenades up Grandpa’s butt, this show’s for you.
My second confession? It didn’t work for me. I know, I know, I just said it was really well done. And it is. But it is just a bridge too far for me to go with the suspension of disbelief. I lasted a whole two thirds of the first episode, and that was as far as I could go. Maybe it’s amazing, maybe it picks up, but the personal spark wasn’t there. I don’t think it will win any awards or anything, but it’s unique.