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Review: No surprise here — Neil LaBute's TV show is about awful people

Published October 9, 2013 10:51 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Full Circle is classic Neil LaBute ("In the Company of Men") in a different venue. The former BYU student/ex-Mormon returns with new tales of misanthropic characters, this time for television, in "Full Circle."The first episode airs Wednesday at 7 and 10 p.m.; the second at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. on DirecTV's Audience Network.Each episode focuses on two characters in conflict in a restaurant. One of the characters from Episode 1 returns in Episode 2; one of the characters in Episode 2 returns in Episode 3; and so on until one of the characters from Episode 9 meets one of the characters from Episode 1 in Episode 10.Got it?It's an interesting device. But this is Neil LaBute, so it's tough going, at least in the first couple of episodes. His characters are miserable people, and watching them can make you feel miserable, too.Episode 1 centers on Tim (Tom Felton, "Harry Potter"), who's trying to break up with his married girlfriend, Bridgette (Minka Kelly, "Friday Night Lights"), who turns out to be pregnant. And Tim could be the father.In Episode 2, Bridgette tries to break up with her husband, Stanley (Julian McMahon, "Nip/Tuck"), and they are incredibly nasty to each other.If you enjoy horrible people behaving badly, you might enjoy "Full Circle." But even then, this all feels incredibly contrived, with some ludicrous plot developments that undercut any sense of reality.