There’s nothing really wrong with “Bent.” It has an attractive cast, enjoyable characters and an easy-to-follow premise. But calling it a comedy is a stretch, especially when the laughs just don’t exist.


Wednesdays at 9 p.m.

Alex Meyers (Amanda Peet, “2012”), an uptight recent divorcee and lawyer, has moved into a new house after her husband was arrested for insider trading. She hopes to get some work done on the kitchen of her new home and begins shopping around for contractors.

Enter Pete Riggins (David Walton, “Fired Up!”): contractor by day, sexual fiend by night. Playboy Pete has a history of sleeping with clients and gambling, having gone to rehab for the latter. When he gets a job with Alex, it’s apparent that the two are complete opposites — so obviously, they have palpable sexual tension.

Walton plays a breezy, laid-back Californian with ease. He charms with his line delivery, banking on his twinkling eyes, dimples and undying charisma to win Alex — and the audience — over. Walton and Peet’s chemistry is a highlight of the series, each working off of the other’s dynamic. Pete forms a bond with Alex’s daughter Charlie (Joey King, “Ramona and Beezus”), a plot point that will invariably bring Alex and Pete closer together.

The supporting cast is largely the source of the very few laughs “Bent” offers up. Margo Harshman (“Even Stevens”) plays Alex’s sister Screwsie (why is that her name? No one knows), a flirty, carefree spirit who hilariously wonders if she has hooked up with Pete in one of the pilot’s funnier moments.

Pete’s crew of Clem (J.B. Smoove, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Gary (Jesse Plemons, “Friday Night Lights”) and Vlad (Pasha Lychnikoff, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”) all have more funny moments than time onscreen. They have obvious chemistry, picking on Gary for being the new guy while also poking fun at Pete’s sexual ferocity and gambling addiction.

Pete’s father Walt (Jeffrey Tambor, “Arrested Development”) also shines as a struggling musician. In a cute moment, he shares the piano with Charlie, helping her get over her stage fright by allowing her to play a few measures of Pachelbel’s Canon in D in the middle of a department store. But, not wanting to be shown up by a 10-year-old, he quickly takes over with a favorite by Fleetwood Mac.

It’s a classic Californian tale, with the romance of two polar opposites brewing under the sunshine. In fact, it seems exactly like a show that one may easily get hooked on for its lightheartedness. We can picture ourselves joining the world of Alex and Pete week-in and week-out, watching as they navigate the ins and outs of starting over. It’s a calm, slightly mundane world, albeit an enjoyable one.

But with a killer of a timeslot (up against FOX’s “American Idol” and ABC’s “Modern Family” — yikes) and barely any promotions, NBC has shown little faith in the sitcom. With an order of only six episodes to be burned off in three weeks, “Bent” may not be worth getting obsessed with.

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