Screen Junkies » Free Agents Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Tue, 16 Sep 2014 20:32:39 +0000 en hourly 1 Kathryn Hahn Talks NBC’s ‘Free Agents’, How To Destroy 22 Paintings Tue, 02 Aug 2011 23:43:41 +0000 Fred Topel She plays a publicist with a dead fiancé opposite Hank Azaria.

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NBC’s new fall comedy Free Agents stars Hank Azaria and Kathryn Hahn as colleagues at a PR firm who sleep together. Alex (Azaria) is fresh off his divorce and still cries over being separated from his kids. Helen’s (Hahn) fiancé Pete died a year ago and she still keeps portraits of him all over her house. A the office everyone wants Alex to score, even when they don’t know he already did with Helen… twice.

I ran into Hahn at the NBC party for the Television Critics Association. I’d seen the Agents pilot so I knew about a bravura scene where Helen finally destroys all her Pete paintings, but I also knew her from films like Anchorman, The Last Mimzy and Our Idiot Brother. She was the perfect mix of scoop and having fun with her crazy show coming out this fall.

Q: What do you get to do with a leading role?

Kathryn Hahn: Well, what I’m thrilled about doing this leading role in particular is that she’s not your typical [leading lady]. She’s really well put together but she’s not the straight woman. She’s not the glamorous straight woman to the guy’s shenanigans. She’s equally a disaster, emotionally and in her personal life.

Q: Like with the paintings in the pilot.

KH: She’s crazy. Oh my God, she’s nuts. What I love about it is that she really is in total denial about the wreckage of her personal life. She thinks she’s got it together. What I love about it is when you meet her at the end of the pilot, she’s actually kind of starting to awaken to that. It’s going to be fun to see where she goes. That’s where I love to be, a little bit left of center. I can’t be a polished girl all the time. I love the women on the verge.

Q: Isn’t the totally polished girl the weird one?

KH: Yes, because who is that person? Where does she exist? This person is so much more real to me. As extreme as her circumstance is, she’s totally in denial, which I think a lot of women can relate to.

Q: How many paintings did you go through in that scene?

KH: 22. I love that they all look like they were from Olan Mills.

Q: How do you top the pilot moving forward?

KH: I feel like we get to see the power dynamics shift back and forth. Sometimes she has the upper hand. Sometimes he does. He might start dating. I think what’s great about the foundation of the show is that it’s not really a romantic comedy as much as it is a workplace comedy. I feel like will they or won’t they won’t be as important as watching the relationships within the office.

Q: As far as emotional/violent scenes, how do you top the paintings?

KH: I have not read it yet but I know where some things go. She’s still working through Pete so she is going to start to see him and other people, date somebody that reminds her of him. She’s going to start dating a therapist. She’s a mess. She thought she had the perfect life in place and when her fiancé died it all fell apart.

Q: Was there a lot of discussion of how much time had passed so a dead fiancé would be funny? Less than a year is still sad.

KH: Right, there was a lot of discussion and we figured a year was kind of perfect. It was just about the time other people would start saying, “Maybe you can date other [people].” I think there’s just a perfect amount of time for her to think, “Maybe I should take down a few of these 22 photographs on the wall.”

Q: Is there a line you won’t cross in comedy?

KH: If it’s mean. I don’t like mean humor. I just don’t like being mean. Beyond that, there’s very few.

Q: Is there a lot of Kathryn Hahn we haven’t gotten to see yet because you haven’t had a vehicle like this?

KH: I think this is exciting because a lot of the roles I’ve been able to book in films have been pretty broad and have been able to exist kind of on the outskirts of society shall we say. They’re a little bit crazy so there’s something about this. I think this kind of vulnerability, I don’t want to say a real woman because they’re all real to me, but there’s a vulnerability in her that I’m excited [to play]. I went to Yale. It’s funny, I didn’t just start in comedy.

Free Agents premieres this fall on NBC.

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Fall TV Tips: Sitcoms About Guys Trying To Be Men Tue, 26 Jul 2011 17:06:48 +0000 Skippy Get prepared for a whole slew of new television shows.

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Fall TV is right around the corner, and just last year, I’ll provide you with some insight into the new series launching this TV season and throw down some advice on which shows to tune in to and which ones look like stinkers.

Let’s start with the funny — or at least the shows attempting to be funny. Every season networks churn out a batch of new comedy series hoping for the next great sitcom, and this year has so many, we split them into two categories: Guys and Gals. Here are the shows with guys trying to be men.


“Man Up” (ABC), Premieres Tuesday, 10/18 at 8:30 pm

Dan Fogler is a poor man’s Jack Black and can provide laughs in the right setting. This seems like a show certainly suited to his brand of humor. Mather Zickel and Teri Polo also star and Polo’s addition to the cast is particularly encouraging because she perfected the ‘straight woman’ role in the Meet the Parents movies, something that should serve her well in this series. The long and short is this show embodies what this whole category is about: guys trying to be men. Specifically, these guys are trying to figure out what it means to be a man while navigating their boring jobs, fatherhood, life in a metrosexual world…and hours spent playing video games.

To be honest, the batch of guy comedies this year are pretty weak. Man Up may not be destined to be an all-time classic, but it has enough laughs and potential to keep us from turning to our Carrot Top DVD collection for entertainment. Seeing these guys may also make you feel better about your own life. Except their wives and girlfriends are way hotter than yours, so probably not.


“Last Man Standing” (ABC), Premieres Tuesday, 10/11 at 8 pm (ET)

Oh, Tim Allen. We barely liked this show back when it was called Home Improvement, and we’re not going to like it now. I guess at least this time he mixed it up by giving himself daughters (those kids in Home Improvement were boys, right?). This show is Tim Allen doing what he does, except the big spin here is…wait for it…his world is dominated by women and all things female.

Hector Elizondo is on the show and he’s always good, and Nancy Travis is pleasant to watch, but pleasant doesn’t make funny and Tim Allen certainly doesn’t make funny, either. This is TV rehashing at its finest/worst. Avoid it.


“How to be a Gentleman” (CBS), Premieres Thursday, 9/29 at 8:30 pm

Kevin Dillon goes from playing Johnny Drama on “Entourage” to playing Johnny Drama on this show. Well, his character isn’t named Johnny Drama, but that’s essentially the character he’s playing. Rhys Darby and Dave Foley are in the cast, too, and always funny. CBS has struck gold with this sitcom formula before, and while it’s not my cup of tea, there’s a chance this one will last a season or two.

“Free Agents” (NBC), Premieres Wednesday, 9/14 at 10:30 pm

I’m big fan of Hank Azaria, but when he is carrying a project as the leading man, it never seems to work (i.e., the disaster that was “Huff”). This is a remake of a British show set in a talent agency and centers around Azaria and Kathryn Hahn as they try and maintain a working relationship after a one-night stand. Seriously. That’s the brilliant set up behind this future cancellation.

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Like Clips? Here’s A Bunch Of Clips From NBC’s New Shows Sun, 15 May 2011 22:12:16 +0000 Joseph Gibson Don't like clips? Go read a book, weirdo.

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You’ve got to hand it to NBC. In the face of overwhelming adversity and ubiquitous ridicule, they keep plugging along. Picking up new shows, renewing and cancelling old ones…it’s almost as if they don’t realize the hardships they’re facing on a day-to-day basis. Up above you’ll see a clip from “Up All Night,” starring Will Arnett and Christina Applegate, with more clips from more new shows down below, including “Whitney,” starring comedian Whitney Cummings, “Free Agents,” starring Hank Azaria, “Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea” starring Laura Prepon on a Chelsea Handler-like character (!), and more. Won’t you watch them? If not for me, then for NBC. Then, after that, you’ve got your dramas.

Now that you’ve gotten comedy, the lowest form of entertainment, out of the way – it’s time for the dramas. Below we have clips for shows like “Prime Suspect,” “The Playboy Club,” the Inception-inspired “Awake,” and more.

There you have it! If you start them now, you might be able to finish before Monday morning.

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