"Bent" is likable in a weird sort of way
Published: March 21, 2012 01:28PM
Updated: March 21, 2012 01:44PM
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NBC's "Bent" is an odd-but-likable show filled with oddly likable characters.

It's sort of a predictable romantic comedy that heads off in unpredictable directions. It's an ensemble comedy that's more likely to make you smile than make you laugh.

It's even more likely to disappear in three weeks or less ... so maybe none of this matters.

Alex (Amanda Peet) is an uptight lawyer whose husband has just gone to prison, leaving her to parent her 10-year-old daughter. Alex hires contractor/surfer dude Pete (David Walton) to remodel her kitchen. And there are immediate sparks between them.

Turns out she's got a boyfriend and he sleeps with her nanny, so this is not headed anyplace anytime soon. But the chemistry is there. Peet and Walton definitely have it, whatever "it" is.

The cast includes Pete's father (Jeffrey Tambor), an out-of-work actor, and Pete's crew (J.B. Smoove and Jesse Plemmons). So "Bent" is sort of a workplace comedy, too.

(The title, by the way, comes from "bent, but not broken." Which describes the characters.)

Honestly, I didn't think much of the show when I first watched the pilot. After watching all six episodes, it grew on me. Don't love it, but like it.

Of course, the fact that NBC is airing the six episodes back-to-back on Thursday nights (8 and 8:30 p.m., Ch. 5) for three weeks looks very much like the network is just burning it off.

Ah, well. If that's the case, there's no big commitment required to watch "Bent."