Free Agents

NBC (ended 2011)





Free Agents Fan Reviews (4)

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out of 10
83 votes
  • A new comedy on NBC starring Kathryn Hahn & Hank Azaria as co- workers who both lost their significant others and are struggling to cope.


    The show starts with Alex & Helen in bed together. Then they go into the office & Alex looks tired so everyone starts asking him sex questions. And raunchy sex talk ensues. Alex's wife left him & Helen's fiance died. They console each bed. He wants more she doesn't & tells him so. She gets drunk, drunk dials him & then they're back at it again. This, unfortunately, is the entire premise of the show. I'm beginning to think my definition of comedy is different from everyone else's because what they're calling comedy lately just isn't funny.

  • It's a show I would really like to like, and there are elements present in the pilot that make me want to see how it's doing by, say, episode four or five, but it's not there yet.


    "Free Agents" doesn't take the usual will they-or-won't they approach to romantic comedy. It's got a solid cast led by comedy veterans Hank Azaria, Kathryn Hahn and Anthony Head. Its creator was part of the team behind one of the funniest TV comedies of the past decade.

    So, a less-traveled take on a familiar genre, good cast and good auspices should add up to a strong show, right? You would think.

    Despite all that it would seem to have going for it, "Free Agents," ends up being less than the sum of its parts.

    Azaria and Hahn play co-workers at a PR firm. He's recently divorced, and her fiance died about a year ago. We open on them in bed together -- so there's that answer -- but it pretty quickly becomes clear that the question isn't "Will they?" so much as "Should they?"

    And it's hard to arrive at any other answer than "sweet lord, no" -- which seems to be the central issue with "Free Agents." For the comedy and the romance to work, we should at least think "Well ..." Hahn's Helen tells Azaria's Alex in the premiere that he's "an absolute mess," and she's not doing a whole lot better.

    Would they be good for each other? Someday, probably -- there are a few moments in the premiere where you can see the seeds of more than just a friendship. But right now it feels like they each need a therapist more than the other. And while you can find comedy in the way damaged people interact, "Free Agents" plays its central relationship almost too honestly to wring many laughs from it.

    Still, Azaria and Hahn work well off one another, and even if it's not all that funny, their relationship does feel reasonably believable. Azaria handles the damaged parts of Alex with sensitivity, and Hahn, who's been stuck in a lot of best-friend roles in her career, proves plenty capable of handling a lead.

    Unfortunately, they're surrounded at work by a bunch of thinly drawn, one-note characters: the horndog, the beaten-down married guy, the sassy assistant, the oddball security guard. Head, meanwhile, floats in for a couple scenes to be wildly but genially inappropriate.

    Head also starred in the Britcom on which "Free Agents" is based, which aired for one season in 2009. It was mostly well-received, but reviews also noted that it was as much drama as comedy. If that's what the show wants to be, then that's fine. But the NBC version is being sold as a straight comedy, and that's what it feels like it's trying to be. It's just not a fully formed one at the moment.

    Perhaps that will change, because the people in front of the camera and behind it -- led by John Enbom, one of the creators of the fantastic "Party Down" -- have done good work in the past. The hope here is that they pull things together, and that the show I want to like becomes one I actually do like.

  • The recently divorced finds a match in a co-worker.


    Sorry to see this go. Given the chance, it could have lasted for a few years.

    Hank Azaria and Kathryn Hahn had the kind of chemistry, that reminded me of Sam and Diane (Cheers) or Mary and Lou (The Mary Tyler Moore Show). It would have been nice to have a romantic comedy where the leads were not all young twenty-somethings.

  • Likeable characters, good chemistry between the cast and good writing. I have only seen the pilot, but would recommend this show.


    Likeable characters, good chemistry between the cast and good writing. I have only seen the pilot, but would recommend this show.

    The humor is subtle, it will put a smile on your face rather than make you laugh out loud - but the smile will stay on your face through most of the show