Call me old fashioned, but despite the interesting story construct, Mixology is a horrible cocktail of lazy writing, terrible characters, and bitters.
The premise: 10 characters are all in the same trendy LA bar, drinking and looking for love. The season takes place over a single night, with each episode focusing on various interactions between friends and potential hookups.
On paper, Mixology sounds like an interesting concept. If told in realtime, the story would be a little under five hours, which could work.1 The problem: the characters are so thoroughly unlikeable, there isn’t enough alcohol in the world to make you want to spend even ten minutes with any of them.
The first group we encounter is Bruce, a bearded bro who is all about “getting laid”; Cal, Bruce’s best friend; and Ben, a guy who just got dumped by his fiancée. If Ben looks familiar, Blake Lee played April’s boyfirend’s boyfriend on the second season of Parks and Recreation. If this group sounds familiar, it’s the same conceit as CBS’s failed We Are Men.
Group two features two female friends, one of them waiting for a date she met online. This leads to some tired jokes about how online dates could be serial killers and then, confusingly, how everybody sends each other junk pics. There’s incongruous and there’s inconsistent, and it’s obvious which path this show chose.
Meanwhile, there’s a waitress dumping her bartender/manager who isn’t complying with her (clichéd) script when he seems ambivalent about their hookup. So we not only have weak writing, there’s a healthy streak of misogyny cutting across all storylines. The phrase “fucking cunt” gets bleeped, everyone refers to everyone else as a “bitch” (not in the RuPaul’s Drag Race way), and the only woman who isn’t treated as an object is a hateful monster. Oh, and there’s a rape “joke”—in quotes because it was both clumsy and lazy, regardless of the subject matter.
What baffles me most about this show: why is it on ABC? Maybe it’s because Ryan Seacrest is one of the executive producers, but this show seems much more appropriate for E! or maybe VH1. Also, it has been given the post-Modern Family slot, which seems like a complete mismatch. If the show has to exist, get Trophy Wife on Wednesday (where it belongs) and pair this with The Goldbergs, which is the closest match to anything on ABC’s schedule.
Do yourself a favor and avoid Mixology.
Mixology airs on ABC Wednesday at 9:30pm. The first two episodes are available online.
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- Although that means the characters would be hitting the clizzub at 9 if this goes until a 2am closing time. ↵