BY JOSHUA VAN OSTRAND
Flaked is an online streamed show about bad people making terrible decisions and wondering why their lives are so miserable. One of Netflix’s newest forays into producing original content, Flaked feels like it’s trying to buy time before the streaming platform’s other, much more entertaining, shows start their new seasons.
The series stars Will Arnett, a wonderfully comedic actor known for his roles in shows that Netflix has picked up over the last few years like Arrested Development and BoJack Horseman. Arnett plays Chip, a man struggling with his tenuous sobriety and a guilty conscience, made only worse by the bad decisions he makes around many of the female characters in the show. Chip may always have something to say, but he’s always saying something he shouldn’t.
Supporting Chip are: characters like Dennis, Chip’s best friend played by David Sullivan; Kara, Chip’s current fling and maybe-girlfriend played by Lina Esco; and London, Dennis’ romantic interest and the most likeable character in the show, played by Ruth Kearney.
It’s really unfortunate to hear that Arnett struggled and slipped with his own sobriety during the making of the show, but it’s understandable when you take a look at the array of selfish, utterly charmless characters.
Flaked feels like a show that is trying to do what Netflix has done so well before, gritty shows about real-life situations – but where characters in other streaming series have charm or grow, Flaked’s characters just feel stale. Where BoJack Horseman was a self-centred character making bad decisions in much the same way Chip does, Horseman brought character to it in a way that seemed so much more real. The characters in Flaked don’t seem to understand what they’re doing is wrong, they’re a bunch of psychopaths running around California causing mayhem and complaining about the consequences.
There may be hope in the future for Flaked, its concept is interesting but the writing lacks focus and needs a lot of work to bring it up to the quality of the other series. Normally it’s difficult to wait for the continuation of Netflix’s super series but I won’t hold my breath for more Flaked. Instead, I’ll just mark my calendar for more of the service’s grand-slam shows like BoJack Horseman and Orange is the New Black.
I give Flaked one star out of five.