ABC on Wednesday night premiered a new comedy series called Mixology. I didn’t watch it, but it sounds very, very bad- it’s supposedly an entire season of TV set among a group of characters all in one bar, trying to hook up with each other. Essentially, it’s Season 9 of How I Met Your Mother, only raunchier and without all that pesky built-up good will.
Luckily, the nation’s TV critics have been quite entertaining in their dismissal of this program. Like Tim Goodman of the Hollywood Reporter:
The level of tone deafness in the writing of Mixology (and, it should be noted, in the entertainment offices of ABC) is astounding. How does a network that skews female crank out a misogynistic piece of frat-boy awfulness like this? And who decided to schedule it coming out of Modern Family, the polar opposite in tone and comedic achievement… Who here thinks that after America spends a half hour with the extended Modern Family clan they’re going to want to hear jokes about rape, about women being slapped by men, women who men think are whores and one-liners like this:
“Look at that chick throwing up. I’m going to bang her out.”
The 10 male and female strangers gathered for one unendurably long night in a bar you’d be wise to avoid are uniformly awful human beings, without regard to gender or race. The ones who aren’t cruel, disloyal and sex-crazed are dim-witted and sex-crazed, which isn’t much of an improvement.
And worse yet for a sitcom, none of the characters are funny or memorably performed.
Speaking of man-boys, there are a lot of them on “Mixology” (9:30 p.m. EST Wednesday, ABC), which employs an elaborate conceit that might have worked if the show wasn’t so aggressively unpleasant about gender, dating and mating rituals… “Mixology” has mined Pickup Artist culture and other dank, sweaty corners of the Internet for much of its “inspiration,” if that’s what you’d want to call it.
Enter “Mixology,” a show with a reasonably clever conceit and strong cast but sunk, again, by weak, narrow-minded writing… The show is smarter than the commercials have made it seem in terms of quick dialogue but it’s all in service of the same old nonsensical gender war clichés. Aren’t we past the “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” tropes of sitcom television? Shouldn’t we be?
And Emily Nussbaum of The New Yorker (on Twitter):
Mixology is like they took Swingers and gave notes that said “way more rape jokes, much meaner, add a beard.”
— emilynussbaum (@emilynussbaum) February 27, 2014
And Joe Adalian, on Twitter:
Watching the first act of Mixology almost makes me want to join the PTC. Almost.
— Joe Adalian (@TVMoJoe) February 27, 2014
And Sean Burns, on Twitter:
Watching MIXOLOGY. Suddenly those guys from THE ACT OF KILLING don’t seem so bad.
Or some other people on Twitter:
So it took “Mixology” to finally make the heavens cry in Los Angeles. #rain
— Michael Schneider (@franklinavenue) February 27, 2014
Mixology is groundbreaking in that it’s the first time i’ve hated anything related to alcohol — pilot (@pilotbacon) February 27, 2014
There was one dissenter, though…
I’ll give the Hitfix duo the last word. Alan Sepinwall:
What is the absolute mathematical opposite of “yes”? RT @JohnWHarris_20: is mixology worth the watch?
— Alan Sepinwall (@sepinwall) February 26, 2014
And Daniel Fienberg, as quoted on the Firewall and Iceberg Podcast:
“For some people this show will reflect a life that they live and people who are their friends and rituals that they have. And for those people, this show may be authentic and hilarious. It just happens that those people and me will never be friends. And maybe that’s okay, because there’s room for people I hate in the world, and there’s room for people I hate on TV, and it’s exceptional and maybe admirable that this is a show with ten main characters, and I hate every single one of them, and you’re supposed to for some strange reason root for these people to get laid. But on the other hand, you also know that for these people to get laid, they’re all gonna get herpes, and maybe you want to watch this show to root for ten really horrible people to get sexually transmitted diseases. So thumbs up to Mixology.”
For a popular family comedy, Modern Family can be surprisingly mean-spirited at times. But Mixology just sounds way, way worse. And ratings appear to have borne that out.