Monday, November 24, 2014

Benched (TV): Mini-Review

The Monkey sez check out the USA Network comedy Benched which plays on Tuesdays at 10:30 pm. Ostensibly it's about a high-flying corporate lawyer who blows her ride and winds up slumming at the Public Defender's office, but it's really a black comedy about the sorry state of the American justice system.

As a recovering lawyer (just as there are no ex-alcoholics, there are no ex-lawyers, only non-practicing ones), I can tell you the show's depiction of incompetent defense attorneys, overworked prosecutors, idiot judges, clueless juries and the steady parade of faceless, nameless defendants who don't have a snowball's chance in hell of being acquitted even when they are innocent is spot on. In fact, it's the only law show that might give you a sense of why so many lawyers want to get out of the business as soon as they get into it.

Starring Eliza (Happy Endings) Coupe, the comedy is low-key and quirky enough to guarantee the show's cancellation in the near future. See it before it's gone.

11 comments:

Mythical Monkey said...

By the way, the adjectives "incompetent, overworked, idiot, clueless and nameless, faceless" can be mixed and matched interchangeably depending on your experiences and point-of-view. At times, they apply to everybody involved in the legal system.

"You're out of order, you're out of order, the whole trial is out of order!"

mister muleboy said...

Dear Monkey:

If you want the show to survive, write a letter to USA Network complaining about the network's attitude toward the show. Praise the show, but focus on running down the network. Question their motives.

Then, tweet just once that the producers are railroading the female lead because she's a woman. The single tweet will start a firestorm that will cause the Network to cave in to your demands.


[PS This comment is not informed by recent network treatment of Bill Cosby. That's not a case of a couple of complainers alleging "prejudice" or an "ism" and dictating network behaviour -- that a case of multiple credible sources, including non-complainants, describing unconscionable behaviour.]

mister muleboy said...

That tweet would require you to join Twitter. Delete the account as soon as you're done; it's the cesspool of a hellhole. Or a place to follow the daily activities of porn stars. . . .

Mythical Monkey said...

Well, I'll say this about Bill Cosby, since you brought it up: either he's a garden variety rapist in a town where that sort of behavior is so common they have a name for it -- "the casting couch," an innocuous-sounding euphemism that has covered a wide variety of particularly vicious behavior -- or he's the victim of a bizarre and ultimately pointless conspiracy (since I would have to assume all the various statutes of limitations, criminal and civil, have long ago run).

I'm all in favor of due process, but rape -- especially when perpetrated by a rich and powerful man backed by an industry deeply invested in the money he makes -- has long been a different kind of animal, with a society and justice system that even now are hellbent on victimizing the victim. I understand the reluctance of most of his victims to make these charges in a legally-timely way -- those few who did apparently didn't fare too well.

I wrote about cognitive dissonance once, the problem of holding two conflicting thoughts in one's head at the same time. There I was writing about Errol Flynn and Roman Polanski and the problem of separating the man from the the art. Here you have a couple of conflicts: funny-stand-up/despicable-rapist and due-process/real-world-justice-system. Messy, but that's life.

Mythical Monkey said...

By the way, I want to say that, generally-speaking, I don't follow celebrity gossip, but occasionally it becomes so big that it follows me.

If you know what I mean.

mister muleboy said...

And zI only brought up Cosby because
(1) I decry the "twitter-lynching" -- create a firestorm of "protest" ("why not; all I have to do is press 'retweet'?"], watch over-responsive, scared-shitless sensitive execs cave in to demands of people who create the outrage, often by wholly mislabeling/misrepresenting it; but

(2) the Cosby nusiness is, as you note, not really a celebrity-gossip item, it's a whole lot more.

Don Rickles will soon be shunned for insensitively making fun of black people. Or the Puerto Ricans.

There was a mild shit-storm regarding remarks he made about President Oabama while *doing his act* at a small event; had Twitter / HuffPost/Facebook ramped up its sense of moral superiority and guardianship by that time, he'd be a disgraced comic.

"wHAT DO WE NEED THE NEGRO FOR? oH, YEAH - COTTON IN THE DRUG STORES!"

"wHAT HAPPENED TO WELLINGTON? oH, YEAH - PROBABLY UPSTAIRS ROBBING MY ROOM. . . ."

"WHAT DO WE NEED THE ITALIANS FOR? oH, YEAH -- NAILS IN OUR SHOES."




None of these is funny, unless blurted by Don Rickles (or Bellotoot channeling Rickles], but they all meet the "low hanging fruit" standard of public outrage.

Cosby? Tennis player on "I Spy"?

Mythical Monkey said...

I remember the brouhaha about Rickles and Obama. I thought at the time, "What idiot invited Rickles to speak at an event for Obama without knowing what kind of comedian they were hiring?"

I mean, seriously, at this late date, how can anyone not know at least the gist of Rickles act?

Well, idiots, that's who.

By the way, I was waiting at the doctor's office last week and the old woman sitting next to me was a Rickles fan. Rickles and Bob Newhart. She'd seen both Rickles and Newhart on stage at various times.

I didn't tell her I'd seen Rickles. Most people are eager to do the conversational heavy lifting if you let them. So I let her.

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

I don't have a lot of trouble anymore separating the art I love from the human artist who maybe I wouldn't. It's a gift I have! There was a video -- youtube? -- i saw back in the day in which -- i think yoko narrated it? -- john invited this (i would say dangerously disturbed) person who had been sleeping in his backyard for a couple of days in for breakfast. And John tries to disabuse him of the fallacy of thinking the art and the human who makes it are one & the same. "I wasn't writing that song for you! I was writing because i'd had a great shit that morning & felt great!" etc. Anyone seen that? George Harrison is there for breakfast as well. But John's point was: Grow up. Do not confuse me, a human, with the Beatle you love! Of course, that just makes me love John all the more, but his point remains.

Mythical Monkey said...

I don't have a lot of trouble anymore separating the art I love from the human artist who maybe I wouldn't

How do you think Mister Muleboy and I have tolerated each other for so long?

I kid. We kid because we love. (I think he bought that, do you think he bought that?)

I have seen the footage of Lennon and the homeless guy -- was it in the Imagine documentary? He's exactly right, of course -- the art and the artist are barely on speaking terms and the artist and his fans don't know each other at all. Enjoy the art, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

mister muleboy said...

I make no art, so as an artist I am as divorced from art as one can get.

Wait -- I have made divorce and art.

I must reconsider. . . .

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