Mixology” is, hands down, the most astoundingly awful series released thus far in 2014. It is baffling how ABC, a network with a large female audience and a tendency toward mild, family-friendly humor, could unveil a show with such offensive writing and overdone ideas. In the midst of ABC’s most recent forward-thinking hits, including “Modern Family” (2009-present), “Scandal” (2012-present) and “Grey’s Anatomy” (2005-present), this low-level bar comedy sticks out like a sore thumb.
In its defense, the high-concept sitcom offers up a somewhat novel premise. The entire season centers around a fateful night at the club – which is viewed from a new character’s perspective each episode. As advertised by its tagline, “This is the story of 10 strangers, one night and all the ridiculous things we do for love.” Yes, it is reminiscent of “24” (2001-2010) in its timeline and “Vantage Point” (2008) in its basic principle, but this specific brand of romantic comedy can’t quite be found anywhere else on television. “Mixology” has failed any potential viewers by executing this quality idea through a stereotypical, misogynistic lens. In doing so, what could have been a fresh, captivating new show becomes stale.
The main focus of the pilot episode is on Tom (Blake Lee), a broken-hearted mess urged to explore bachelorhood by his best friends, Cal (Craig Frank) and Bruce (Andrew Santino). These “bros,” who make a rather obnoxious point of being emotionally vacant, attempt to teach Tom how to seduce single twenty-somethings around them in hopes of getting their friend over his sob-story breakup.
This might sound like a trite exemplar of every overdone single-and-ready-to-mingle plotline. Still, “Mixology” promises a new point of view each episode, so that viewers can reasonably give the show the benefit of the doubt and hope for a more original storytelling perspective as the series progresses.
What can’t be overlooked, however, are the characters’ blatantly degrading attitudes toward the women around them. Cal and Bruce’s comments range from judgmental – “Remember: the higher the heels the looser she feels” – to jaw-dropping and simply unacceptable – “Look at that chick throwing up