Watercooler: Charm-Free Agents
Hank Azaria and Kathryn Hahn
Eesh. Are we supposed to like these people?
Last night, NBC did itself no favors by premiering Free Agents right after its much-more likable effort, Up All Night. Talk about suffering by comparison.
Whereas the Applegate-Arnett comedy has charm, potential and Maya Rudolph, this Hank Azaria thing had... Hank Azaria's pecs. Seriously, those jarringly hairless man-mounds should have gotten a mention in the credits between the opening bedroom scene and that way-too clingy t-shirt he was sporting right after. Oh, Agents also had the fabulous Kathryn Hahn, who is capable of so much more than just hamming it up as a widow prone to sleeping with Azaria's needy divorcee when not guzzling wine and making out with portraits of her dead fiancé.
Based on a British fave, the US adaptation — about spin doctors at a PR firm staffed by grotesquely annoying stereotypes including the prerequisite lothario and a bitchy secretary who may actually inspire self-injuring among viewers — wants us to see Azaria's neurotic as somehow appealing. But the writing just reduces him to a metrosexual Woody Allen with no backbone and even less game (crying after sex?!), which sucks, because Azaria is usually a wholly likeable performer. Add in the wasted talents of Hahn and Anthony Stewart Head, here reprising his UK role as the inexplicably lascivious boss, and honestly, we're thinking they should all fire their Agents.
Did you watch Free Agents? And more importantly, would you again?
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