Being the big time TV writers that we are around here, we got access again to another TV pilot before the rest of the unwashed masses. This time I got to watch the pilot for Benched on USA. In a word…wow. It’s fantastic.
Benched is a new comedy that will premiere on the USA network on October 28. It stars one of my favorite people, Eliza Coupe. You might remember her as the tough doctor Denise on Scrubs or even better, as Jane on Happy Endings. She is a seriously funny lady who should never not be working. Her getting this show is a win for people who like funny things. Coupe plays a corporate attorney who has an incredible break down at the beginning of the pilot who quits her job in fantastic fashion. Her next job lands her in the Public Defenders office which is just a bit of a step down from her previous job.
Co-starring with Coupe is another person I happen to enjoy very much who comes from one of my favorite cancelled too soon TV shows, Jay Harrington from Better Off Ted. Harrington plays another Public Defender who drinks his lunch and doesn’t seem to care very much. He doesn’t have much of a role in the pilot episode but his presence alone is enough to keep watching. I want to see what he does with this role.
Also in the cast, one of my favorite stand-up comedians, Maria Bamford. She plays a moron of an attorney (isn’t that redundant? I kid, I kid) who allows a client to escape from jail in the pilot episode because she went to the bathroom and assumed that guards would actually guard people. I love Maria Bamford. She hasn’t had that much TV work so I’m glad to see her getting a show.
The rest of the cast is also very funny in the first episode, particularly the judge played by Fred Melamed. You will also recognize Oscar from The Office who is playing another attorney in the Public Defender’s office along with several other familiar faces.
I laughed quite a bit during the pilot. It makes me nervous because I liked this show so that means it will probably get cancelled. My only hope is that because it’s on USA, there is not really any expectations for ratings numbers. I think they will be happy with getting anyone to watch it. If I were you though, I would watch. It was pretty funny and that was just the pilot. Pilot episodes are rarely any good. If you are not familiar with Benched, here is the first scene from the pilot where Nina quits her job in epic fashion.
Benched on USA – First Scene
I really enjoyed the pilot episode and will be looking forward to more episodes of Benched.
Benched premieres on the USA Network Tuesday October 28 at 9:30.