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Sean Daly, Michelle Stark and Sharon Kennedy Wynne

ABC's new show 'Mixology' isn't just bad, it's offensive

Yeah, we'd be cringing too if we have to be in the show.

ABC

Yeah, we'd be cringing too if we have to be in the show.

27

February

I’ve been having a blast this week reading the avalanche of negative reviews for ABC’s new show Mixology, which premiered Wednesday at 9:30 after Modern Family.

The show has an interesting concept: It follows 10 characters at the same bar on one night, focusing on different people in different episodes. It seems they’ll all cross paths eventually, and shenanigans will ensue. Sounds promising, so how bad could it be?

Um, guys, it’s really bad.

On the surface, it’s hateful and bro-tastic, which isn’t too surprising given who wrote it: The Hangover writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore.

But the bad vibes go much deeper.

The sitcom (de-emphasis on the “com” part) has an astonishingly hateful view of female-male relationships, and its depiction of women is nothing short of abhorrent. (Actually, it doesn’t seem to think very highly of men, either.)

In a year when real women have been in the news for stories connecting binge drinking and rape, how is it okay that this scenario in Mixology’s premiere is played for laughs: “Look at that chick throwing up. I’m going to (try to sleep with her).” (What he actually says is so inappropriate we can’t even say it here, being a family newspaper and all.) Or that one female character says this about her quest for a manly man who won’t tolerate her attitude: “If I talked that way to Don Draper he would slap me in the mouth”? Abuse! Hilarious!

Except the whole thing is definitely not funny. It’s distressing, and extremely shortsighted of ABC (a network that skews female) to put this show on its schedule. Heck, one night after Mixology airs, Kerry Washington returns to Scandal as one of TV’s most powerful, self-sufficient ladies. On the contrary, one Mixology character chooses to continue sleeping with a guy who doesn’t even know her name.

Plus, putting this show on right after Modern Family is woefully misguided. What fan of that show is going to stay tuned for this misogynistic mess? Maybe blended-family sitcom Trophy Wife would be a better fit in the 9:30 p.m. Wednesday slot. Or the charming ’80s-set Goldbergs. Or pretty much anything else on ABC’s schedule besides the boozy brashness of Mixology. (Don’t even get me started on how, in a just world, ABC would ever have canceled the warm and hilarious Happy Endings to make room for this garbage).

Does the network think this show is edgy for the crude way it talks about sex? For the amount of times the words “whore” or “b----” are used throughout the pilot?

Well, ABC, it’s not. At best, the show seems horribly out of touch. At worst, it’s downright offensive. 

And it’s a shame. Dial back the rapey atmosphere and the fact that every character seems to hate one another, and the energy and premise of the show could be fun.

But as Mixology stands right now, I don’t want to spend another second with these people.

[Last modified: Thursday, February 27, 2014 12:34pm]

    

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