Mixology

ABC, Wednesdays 9:30/8:30 Central

Feb 26, 2014 Web Exclusive
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The hook for Mixology is "one bar, one night...10 people in search for love" is a little misleading. The bar is more of a bar/restaurant and the search is to get laid, not for love, although a couple of those 10 people might be getting the two things confused. Created and executive-produced by the fellows that brought you The Hangover (and Ryan Seacrest, with his first scripted show), Mixology is a more contained version of that franchise's premise.

Each episode semi-focuses on two of the 10 characters trying cringingly to connect, who then disconnect in the very next episode as no one seems to ever leave this locale and they have to keep talking to somebody. Deep-rooted childhood issues dictate each character's every move. The guys, all of them desperate to see someone, anyone, naked, are Tom (Blake Lee), the shy, people pleaser, Bruce (Andrew Santino), a combination of Danny Bonaduce (as his friends aptly point out) and a Hangover Zach Galifinakis-like persona, Cal (Craig Frank), the natural smooth operator, Ron (Adam Campbell), a conman, and the token Brit, and Dominic (Adan Canto), the absolute stud of a bartender. All but one of them sport what they think is some dashing facial hair, but just makes the viewer want to itch. The gals, most of them desperate to see someone naked, but not just anyone, are Maya (Ginger Gonzaga), the beautiful ballbuster, Liv (Kate Simses), her engaged co-worker and play-it-safe-and-boring one, Jessica (Alexis Carra), the single mom who is still young and hot but never gets out, Fabienne (Frankie Shaw), her frenemy whose lines revolve around cutting Jessica down, and Kacey (Vanessa Lengies), the cutie waitress who is banging the bartender in the back on breaks. The only scenes that don't take place in this location are cutaways to the characters' pasts, illuminating why they have turned out the way they have when we are introduced to them.

Technology, in the form of on-line dating, hook-up apps, and free, every-fetish-explored porn, makes the face-to-face encounter a different entity than even a mere five years ago. Mixology is not a far throw from what trying to go out to a bar and meet people is like nowadays. No one wants to talk to 90% of the people there and the very few people that do step up to each other, do so at great personal risk, and are more often than not, shot down. Granted, this sounds painful, but Mixology has sharp-witted lines that are genuinely funnyif at times highly sexistrather than being gratuitous, clichés, or too-obvious puns. This doesn't help the characters hook-up with each other at all, but it does help the viewer watch their attempts. This banter is tailor-made per character and everyone delivers innately. Whether or not you relate to the character, the instinctual portrayals lock down their appeal. Doing the math, if the show wants to keep its one bar/one night/10 people hook going, there is a total of 25 episodes possible. Don't know what the plan is after that, but if you're asking your audience to stay in this one spot for that long, better keep the drinks coming. (www.abc.go.com/shows/mixology)

Author rating: 6/10

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