Review of "Mixology" on ABC From The TV MegaSite

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Mixology cast

"Mixology" review by Sundi 2/17/14
series premieres Wednesday 2/26 on ABC

I started watching "Mixology" with a giant chip on my shoulder; I didn’t want to find it charming, funny or incredibly whip-smart, but I did, and I am optimistically smitten with it. The story surrounds ten young(ish) singles over the course of one night in an upscale bar, Mix. Structured into vignettes that focus on one couple an episode, the story follows the evolution of these characters’ relationships over the course of the night and, presumably the season. Mixology is chasing a pretty specific audience (think Happy Endings in a bar) with its generational humor, breakneck pacing,and smarmy charm, and it is my hope that this show will finds it footing across demographics, and not just among folks my age.

This show is far funnier than I thought it would be, but in a dark, laughing-at-you kind of way. The humor is not for the faint of heart, by any means, delivering inappropriate material without flinching with lines like, “He’s so hot I would let him degrade me” without apology or qualification. The show’s premise is pretty cheesy and the writing might seem insincere if it wasn’t for the actors working hard to make us care about these characters, but Mixology is pretty funny, in spite of itself. I am especially enamoured with the show’s tendency to play fast and loose with sexual politics and poke fun at the arbitrary rituals these singles are playing out. It’s good-looking people trying to pick up other good looking people and doing silly and unspeakable things in the process -- note the pick up attempt that starts out with, “You girls pro-choice?” This show is straddling the line between scatalogical and incredibly wry, and I feel like its striking a balance.

This balance creates a charm that is undeniable and I cannot begrudge this show its charisma. In the two episodes I watched, I became smitten with how completely unselfconscious the characters present their identities. They are presented as deeply complicated individuals and nothing is off limits as they reveal more and more about themselves just to make us laugh. They do gross stuff like puke in their date’s purse, yet are so good looking and so incredibly witty, that we forgive them just so we can keep watching.

If you like shows like Happy Endings and The Mindy Project (and what How I Met Your Mother used to be) then this show will appeal to you. Its not for teenagers or grandmothers, but it is for folks firmly in Generation X -- the subtle reference MTV’s Real World in the lead-in is a nod to its audience and I, for one, am glad for the appreciation.

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