A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show is about second chances as seen through the separate experiences of Alex and Pete, both of whom are trying, with varying degrees of success, to piece things back together after major life changes. The story also touches on relationships, representing several different examples (boyfriend/girlfriend, father/adult son, mother/young daughter, plus the unlikely pairing at the heart of the story) that encourage viewers to evaluate how we relate to the people in our lives.
Positive Role Models
Some adults are better behavioral models than others. Amanda is driven to create the perfect life for herself and her daughter, but her need for control often gets her into trouble with other people. Pete, on the other hand, takes very little to heart and relies on his charm rather than work ethic to win people over, which he does with unlikely ease. Ultimately the message here is that there's no one perfect personality type but that a combination of complementing ones can create positive relationships.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Men and women talk about "getting laid" and "getting some"; couples cuddle together in bed after sex; a man admits to borrowing a condom from his grown son for an unexpected sexual encounter; couples kiss, flirt, and otherwise imply that they'll be sleeping together.
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"Dammit," "suck," and "hell" are audible; anything stronger is bleeped.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
It's not a major part of the content, but adults often drink beer or wine at dinner or in social settings.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this lackluster romantic comedy has its share of grown-up content, but it doesn't push the envelope like some other primetime shows do. Sex is more of a suggestion than an on-screen act (couples are shown in bed after sex, and there are references to "getting some" and mention of condoms, for example); salty language is limited to "hell" and "damn," with harsher stuff bleeped; and beer is a staple among adults, but to no adverse effect. Adults probably can best relate to the main characters' quest for second chances, and the central relationship has a few good things to say about the benefits of being open to new ideas and views on life.
Is It Any Good?
Despite a talented cast -- rounded out by the incomparable Jeffrey Tambor as Pete's unemployed-actor father -- Bent falls flat in both the "romantic" and the "comedy" departments. Alex and Pete spend so much time dancing around and denying their interest in each other that they exhaust themselves before they can actually act on their instincts. Things aren't much better on the comedy front, either, where Bent relies too much on the characters' opposing personalities for laughs and rarely employs the show's arguably funnier aspects, including the antics of Pete's rag-tag contractor crew and Pete's dad's desperate attempts to jump start his career and reel in the ladies.
There's an upside to the lack of fire in this slow-paced show, especially if you're looking for something new for your teens. Compared to many primetime options, Bent tends to be lighter on physical content, language, and drinking, none of which play a major role in the characters' motivations. Sure, there are casual remarks about "getting laid" and references to condoms, etc., but the physical interactions are fairly low-key, and there's no nudity. What's more, despite the fact that Pete's gambling problem is often spun for laughs, the show deserves some credit for working a serious issue like this into the plot and making it a possible discussion point for families who tune in.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.