Benched: Will You Proceed With USA Network's New Legal Comedy?


Elevators. Relationships. Conversations with other human beings in general. As evidenced by Tuesday’s series premiere of USA Network’s Benched, none of these things are lawyer Nina Whitley’s strengths.

RELATED USA Network’s Benched: EP Talks Eliza Coupe’s Unfiltered Legal Comedy

Fortunately — for the viewers, at least — her failures are spectacularly entertaining.

After being passed over for partner at her corporate firm — by a less-qualified, larger-breasted friend, no less — Nina (Happy Endings‘ Eliza Coupe) unleashes the proverbial Kraken, telling off every single one of her co-workers with the kind of speech most hard-working, under-appreciated Americans only dream of. Unfortunately, there’s a reason most people don’t deliver such speeches: Nina’s epic freak-out gets her bounced down — like, way down — to legal aid.

(Oh, and did I forget to mention she just found out her ex-fiancé is engaged to someone else, and that he’d only broken up with her three months prior? That’s some pretty important context right there.)

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Despite a few upsides — like her cute, though occasionally skeevy, new co-worker Phil (Better Off Ted‘s Jay Harrington) — Nina hates everything about being a public defender, going so far as to openly declare the whole system to be “a slow-motion hate crime.” And s—t really hits the fan when she finds herself up against the new deputy district attorney, who just so happens to be her ex-fiancé Trent (Drop Dead Diva‘s Carter MacIntyre).

But all it takes is one good win — after a series of colossal failures, of course — for Nina to feel that fire in her belly once again. Could she actually be coming around to the idea of working in legal aid?

“It doesn’t happen overnight,” Benched creator/executive producer Michaela Watkins tells TVLine, “but we do see her settle in. As her material world starts to decline, her personal evolution will incline.”

So, will you be sticking with Benched to see Nina “settle in,” or are you already dismissing yourself from the case? Grade the premiere below, then drop a comment with your thoughts.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Ella says:

    Can we bring Damon Wayans Jr. to this show? :D

  2. jen says:

    Can we just bring all the Happy Endings cast so I can have my damn show back? I’ll even let them bring Ken Marino from Marry Me

  3. Sutton says:

    Love her and will watch anything she’s in!

  4. Sutton says:

    Love her and this show!

  5. Joey Padron says:

    Like first episode. It was good. Looking forward to watching more. Good to have Eliza back on TV!

  6. Erika says:

    Eliza is a blast, however, this material is HORRIBLE and hurting her – bring Happy Endings back! Or at least their writers. Embarrassing! Writers seem bitter.

  7. loopychew says:

    A solid outing. This season’s been really good for freshman comedies and this continues the trend.

  8. Cynthia Neil says:

    Tuned in by surfing. It caught my eye and watched. It pulled me in, found it myself laughing, Nina is great. Casting serms good. Can’t wait for the next episode.

  9. Jay says:

    Agreed about bringing Happy Endings back!!! I find myself watching everything the cast is in just to have a little bit more of Happy Endings in my life but Nothing compares so just bring the damn show back, it’s time!!!!!

  10. Hayes says:

    Now that Eliza Coupe, Damon Wayans, Adam Pally and Casey Wilson are on TV, I’ve been really nostalgic about Happy Endings, so I decided to rewatch it, just finished season 1. I’m glad to have been reminded of how awesome that show was.

  11. rkar7 says:

    I really enjoyed this first episode and see great potential for this show, especially since I love Eliza Coupe in anything. I am with all the other posts of people that miss Happy Endings. So far I am loving Marry Me too.

  12. Zenobia Jackson says:

    I loved Happy Endings and really wanted to like this but it was dismal and depressing

  13. Stacy says:

    Eliza Coupe, Maria Bamford and Jay Harrington? Yes!

  14. asm says:

    Great new show, but I can’t stand the old lady who always makes weird face. It’s cute if you’re young, but, her? Yuck..

  15. Rich hamilton says:

    I have not seen a show like this new tv sitcom ” benched” with such quick banter and wit between the two main characters since a tv show way back called ” blue moon ” starring Cybele Shepard and Bruce Willis. This show reminds me of that with the quick back and forth banter and sarcasism. It is really funny. I will be watching all the time. I hope it will stay on the air for a long time. It comes on at 1230 am here on tues but is on following day at 700 pm usually. Way to go. Rich