Alone Together brings millennial isolation to a surprising network

There’s a moment in Alone Together, Esther Povitsky and Benji Aflalo’s vaguely autobiographical new comedy series, where Esther lusts after Benji’s extremely handsome and successful older brother. “In real life I would not try that,” Povitsky told Variety. “I know my place in life. That’s never going to be me. But in the show I’m a little more delusional, and I try to go for it.” That might as well be Alone Together’s ethos: Esther and Benji may be losers, but they firmly believe they deserve a shot.

It’s a slyly ambitious show — and an especially odd fit for Freeform, a channel whose bizarre and storied history began back in 1977, when it launched as the Christian Broadcasting Network.

Alone Together — which Povitsky made into a film in 2015 — became a series on the strength of its blasé attitude toward life and love. Benji plays the well-meaning and talentless younger son of wealthy parents; Esther is basically his Kramer. She rents out her L.A. apartment through Airbnb to periodically sponge off him. Both are a little old to be as awkward as they are; that they know this only makes them more quietly resentful and gently crabbed. This is the anti-When Harry Met Sally. It believes men and women can be friends (and should probably leave it at that). If everyone else in the show believes they belong together, they really, really don’t.

Povitsky — who you know as Maya from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, her stand-up as “Little Esther,” or her podcast Weird Adults with Little Esther — has spent a long time plumbing this specific kind of stalled-out L.A. adulthood.

The term “Weird Adults” came about because five years ago my friend [Aflalo] and I said, “Should we move in together and share the same room and be, like, weird adults?” It’s always stuck with me since then. I just love the idea of being a weird adult. You’re not a kid anymore, you can’t just be silly — it’s almost like you’re a grown-up doing things kids would do — but you shouldn’t be doing it. []

The result is an artifact so aggressively lackluster it’s almost annoying (“Esther’s way of being cute is like, not trying at all,” Benji says), but its gently indifferent gravity sucks you in until you’ve watched five episodes without really noticing — and been joined by everyone else in the house.

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Source:: The Week – Entertainment


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