Mr. Media is recorded live before a studio audience of never-say-die fans of “Perfect Couples,” “Arrested Development,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Friday Night Lights” and, of course, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”… in the NEW new media capital of the world… St. Petersburg, Florida!
That’s a line out of the mouth of character Pete Riggins in the second episode of the new NBC sitcom “Bent.” It’s a great line because Riggins, who plays a down-on-his-luck general contractor, is at once a rogue and a cocksman, but still has the raffish charm that draws in the ladies and cause guys to want to hang with him and hear of his conquests and defeats.
Riggins is played by comic actor David Walton, who, if there was any justice in this TV world of ours, would just be wrapping the second season of his last sitcom, “Perfect Couples,” alongside Kyle Bornheimer and Hayes MacArthur.
DAVID WALTON podcast excerpt: “Every character on Bent is going through something. I’m a recovering gambling addict. Amanda Peet’s character is just divorced, her husband is in jail. All these people are a little busted up. It’s a little bit of a head scratcher from the title, but it does refer to its theme underneath the comedy that gives the show a little more gravitas than all the other comedies out there. And that makes it rewarding to watch.”
But instead of having crazy sex with his TV partner on that show, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, he’s trading flirtatious barbs with Amanda Peet, who you might fondly remember from “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” They spark each other like David and Maddie once did on “Moonlighting” a generation ago and there is something palpably sexual whenever they share a scene.
And when they’re not in a scene together, “Bent” is packed with equally talented, familiar actors, including Jeffrey Tambor from “The Larry Sanders Show” and “Arrested Development,” J.B. Smoove from “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Friday Night Lights” star and previous Mr. Media guest Jesse Plemons.
It’s an interesting cast in that they all deserve to star in a big, breakout hit—as opposed to the small cultish shows they’re all previously known for.