Season 1, Episode 1
This is a First Look Review of Freeform's Alone Together starring Esther Povitsky and Benji Aflalo.
Hot girls have secrets like magicians. They don't let anyone know.
After Hulu’s horrible, terrible, disgusting decision to cancel Difficult People, you’d be forgiven for thinking no show could replace it. It was such a stinging satire on fame with a cavalcade of jokes to match. The leads worked so well together that it seemed they were two halves of the same person. And then it was taken from us without fanfare (probably because it wasn’t Handmaid’s Tale popular). All hope was lost. And then Freeform aired the pilot for Alone Together – a show that can only be described as “Difficult People for millennials.” That’s not to say that quality takes away from either one; far from it. It’s more of a compliment.
Alone Together stars creators Esther Povitsky and Benji Aflalo as two best friends who have no sexual chemistry (this is how the show was sold and they repeatedly beat our heads with this information in the pilot; it’s pretty much the only negative). Their one goal is to make it to a level of popularity that it pays off in more than a monetary fashion. For Benji, he wants a hot girlfriend; Esther wants a job. The tasks are simple and yet the only way to get there is blocked with impossible deterrents.
The characters are very reminiscent of Billy and Julie with their rapier joke style, often shooting before a duel is presented. Better yet, they’re at each other’s throats more often than not (Esther delivers "I'd rather let an entire greyhound bus spit in my mouth than have sex with Benji. No offense." when it’s suggested she and Benji get together). One of the best lines of the pilot comes from Benji: “All my jokes are really personal and about me.” It’s so honest to the conceit of the show at heart. These jokes are so good and so well performed that they make the almost non-existent story seem like it’s there. It also helps to have Benji’s siblings played by Ginger Gonzaga and Chris D’Elia right there to set up and deliver their own quips.
Storywise, escalation is up there with any other modern single camera as Benji dates a woman who turns out to be an escort and Esther herself gets into the business by accident. There’s promise here to have two young, cynical idiots trying to make it big while dealing with every day inconveniences. Also, Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone produce the series so it’ll be good to see how they elevate the show.
Should you watch Alone Together?
There’s a lot of promise to this show. A strong start and naturally funny cast should lead this to the top.