Free Agents (U.K.)
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this darkly comic British import concerns a pair of co-workers who regularly sleep together but aren't in a committed relationship, in part to heal their pain after two crippling personal losses: death and divorce. While much of the strong language (including "f--k," "s--t," "c--k," "p---y," etc.) has been bleeped for American audiences, other salty talk and sexual euphemisms are left intact -- from "golden showers" to "pink bits" to "man meat." There's some social drinking and simulated sex, too, although no sensitive body parts are shown.
What's the story?
While they sleep together regularly to ease the pain of life-altering personal losses, co-workers Alex (Stephen Mangan) and Helen (Sharon Horgan) are more or less FREE AGENTS and open to date anyone they choose. But their complicated "friendship" isn't always as free and easy as they'd like it to be. Meanwhile, their piggish boss (Anthony Head) runs their busy London talent agency like a lusty, boorish boys' club.
Is it any good?
Whether you go with the toned-down American remake or stick with this salty original, Free Agents is a cynical comedy that, for most adults, will be an acquired taste. But if you're not prepared for the steady stream of sexual euphemisms and potty talk in the British version, it could even leave a bad taste in your mouth. After all, it's hard to keep comedy in mind when you're listening to someone rather casually describe a "10-minute t-t wank on the boardroom table," later followed by penetration "up the starfish with a jumbo-sized glue stick."
The casting and performances are just fine, and Mangan and Hogan play the central relationship with at least some sense that it could lead to something more meaningful. But the droll and decidedly British delivery of the material does little else to draw you in for the long haul.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the show's darkly comic portrayal of two serious topics: death and divorce. Is it easier to deal with loss when you can laugh about it? How do the two main characters cope with their personal losses? Are they dealing with loss in a generally healthy or unhealthy way?
What are the real-life consequences of having a sexual relationship with someone you work with? Why do some companies have policies in place that set limits on or even forbid office romances? How do the main characters' actions after hours affect their working relationship?
How does this series compare to the U.S. remake that it inspired? Can you spot any general differences between British and American humor? Which version of the show do you prefer?