“Flaked” is not Will Arnett’s best work


Story by Abbi Racine, Reporter
Photo courtesy of The Huffington Post

“Flaked” is yet another Will Arnett show, where the comedy maven portrays a fading man, similar to the animated Netflix original “Bojack Horseman” and the popular series “Arrested Development.”

In this new Netflix series, Arnett plays Chip, a Venice Beach, California-based self-help guru who needs an incredible amount of help himself. Chip, a recovering alcoholic, owns his own small business, a bicycle shop, right on the strip. It is revealed in the opening scene that Chip is ten years sober, after killing a man while driving drunk, thus losing his driver’s license and derailing his marriage (his ex-wife played by actress Heather Graham). Considering Arnett’s recent divorce to “Parks and Recreation” star Amy Poehler, ending their eleven-year long commitment, it is interesting that Graham’s character is a successful actress herself.

The plot of “Flaked” thickens as a stunning new waitress at Chip’s favorite restaurant catches his eye, his business begins to struggle, and his housemate/best friend Dennis (portrayed by David Sullivan) finds Chip drinking again. Chip’s persona as “the Mayor of Venice” begins to unravel once this is uncovered, and other secrets, such as his new girlfriend’s intentions, start to come to light as well.

The dramatic plotline is evident, but “Flaked” fails to captivate an audience in its eight episode-long first season. Its potential is there, but it falls short and I can’t quite place my finger on it. While the characters’ performances in the series are stellar, possibly some of Arnett’s best work, the writing of the script doesn’t follow through. It isn’t bad, but it isn’t great either. Former “Cheers” star Kirstie Alley makes a memorable guest star appearance, starring as Dennis’s promiscuous, unsupportive mother.

I waited for the series to start carrying itself, but all of the plot twists were incredibly predictable. Chip’s role as the local community good-doer is exhausted very quickly, making it difficult to watch and enjoy. Luckily, each episode is only thirty minutes long, making it a quick binge screening. I was able to watch the entire first season on a lazy Sunday, but I may hesitate before watching the second season of “Flaked” when it comes available. I’d rather spend my time watching “Bojack Horseman” and/or “Arrested Development.”

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