Given the demographic I assume it’s aiming for, I’ve pretty much written off Freeform as a network worth watching — aside from occasionally putting a Harry Potter Weekend on in the background, of course. However, I recently came across an ad for a new show on the network called Alone Together. The clip merely shows two friends arguing about sugar cookies and snickerdoodles but I found myself literally laughing out loud. Later, I learned that this series was produced by the members of The Loney Island (Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg, and Jorma Taccone), which also helped get my attention. As a result, I decided to screen five episodes of the new sitcom and what I found was actually quite interesting.
Alone Together stars Esther Povitsky and Benji Aflalo as best friends named — you guessed it — Esther and Benji. When I say “best friends,” I mean the type that do everything together, ranging from dining out to attending gynecological exams side by side. Becuase of this closeness, they are often mistaken for a couple, even as they attempt to play wingman or wingwoman for the other in many cases. Other than that series-defining friendship, the information we learn about these characters, like the fact that they do standup comedy on occasion and Benji has a rich brother who he lives with, are more or less inconsequential but do help to explain a few things.
Unlike many shows (especially those on Freeform presumably), there’s little that connects each episode of Alone Together other than the characters and their dynamic. Each of the five episodes I watched had its own completely contained plot that found the duo embarking on a number of crazy adventures, such as camping out for limited edition makeup and road tripping to Berkley. In all of these cases, it wasn’t so much the story itself that made me laugh but the offbeat and unique voice of the main characters had and their truly humorous dialogue. Speaking of great characters, the show includes some top-notch cameos including Jim O’Heir (Parks and Recreation), Chris D’Elia (Undateable), Bobby Lee (MadTV), and more.
With all that said, there were a couple of moments where I thought the shows attempts to be over the top fell a bit flat. Of course, this is to be expected from any sitcom and didn’t really hurt my overall enjoyment of the program. In fact, despite these misses that may have dragged a bit, I found that each episode I screened seemed to fly by.
All in all, Alone Together seems like a show that would fit in on much “hipper” and “edgier” platforms like Hulu, Netflix, or IFC. Additionally, while the teens that watch Freeform will likely enjoy it, the show certainly doesn’t seek that demographic directly. In fact, you might expect that the show’s Millennial characters (who watch such ancient things like MTV’s Daria) might actually seem old to the network’s Gen Z viewers. However, I think the show’s clever writing and episodic nature will help it find an audience regardless of what channel it’s on. In short, it’s definitely worth popping over to Freeform to check out this enjoyable, laugh out loud comedy.
I give Freeform’s Alone Together 4.5 out of 5 pesto mouthguards.
Kyle is a writer living in Springfield, MO. His deep love of Disney and other pop culture finds its way into his stories, scripts, and tweets. His first book “The E-Ticket Life: Stories, Essays, and Lessons Learned from My Decidedly Disney Travels” is available in paperback and for Kindle. http://amzn.to/1CStAhV