Abby’s (“Free Alcohol Day”)

Season 1, Episode 3
Date of airing: April 11, 2019 (NBC)
Nielsen ratings information: 1.636 million viewers, 1.1/2 in Households, 0.42/2 with Adults 18-49, 0.2/2 with Adults 18-34, 0.6/2 with Adults 25-54

I think I am starting to like the show, even though it’s still a meaningless half hour of sitcom television. The premise is too soft, the stories don’t wake the characters up and have them interact with each other, and there is no sense of continued storytelling, in which the back story delivered in a previous episode is of some importance in the next. Okay, ABBY’S is only three episodes old, and when it comes to sitcoms there usually isn’t any time to develop the characters over the course of the first few episodes, but this half hour made me realize that the character development better mean something, and this episode wasn’t just one for diversity and inclusiveness, with Abby’s bisexuality never to be mentioned again. This better be one of Abby’s general problems as a character — her inability to share her feelings with others, her inability to find friends beyond the walls of her backyard bar. Maybe the show should develop a premise, in which the central character of the show needs to learn how to be a member of the living society. Because I still believe that Abby’s background in the military, and how her closeted lifestyle as a kid and teenager back home, might have seriously hindered her of growing up properly, or finding peace with herself.

Former lovers are still good with each other.

Meanwhile, this episode was sometimes funny, and sometimes tiring. Free Alcohol Day sounded like a nice premise, but it could have been used for more than just introducing Dani to the audience. Free Alcohol Day could have been used as an opportunity to make jokes about alcohol, mixing drinks, and trying out what makes a liquid alcohol, and how much you are able to mix to actually make it alcohol. For one scene there was this effort to make Dani’s garbage water more tasteful and the bar patrons were experimenting a little bit — that could have been the funny premise of the episode, but the writers decided they needed to be politically correct, and they overturned the sense for a comedy show to replace it with an inclusive episode about people being bisexual and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, it became noticeable how that progressive part of the story became the frontrunner of the episode, instead of the comedy.

At least I am starting to remember Beth’s name, although her actions in this episode were horrifying to my eye. She “breaks” into Abby’s house, looks through her stuff, takes her laptop and wants to snoop in her emails… I am actually surprised Abby didn’t just kick the mother of two out immediately and told her to never return to the bar again. I am also surprised that the writers didn’t take this opportunity to leave the realm of a sitcom and have Abby actually open up about her past just enough to explain why she never shares intimate details about her life and relationships with anyone. It would have made Abby an inconsistent character, since she is a non-sharer, but it would have made her a more relatable character, and it would have opened up the opportunity to go for the PTSD-kinda back story in Abby’s life. If I had been part of the show’s writers room, I would have pitched this back story so hard, because it’s what would make ABBY’S a unique and memorable show, and in this day and age you can’t just deliver another generic multi-camera sitcom, without having it stand on its own legs immediately, instead of copying other sitcoms. UNDATEABLE came too late with the idea of producing live episodes, but the idea was so great it could have sustained its longevity for more than three seasons, if the live episodes had begun with the very first episode. ABBY’S seriously needs to find an angle to stand apart from most of the multi-camera sitcom fare on broadcast television.

“Wait, I can’t just break into your house and find out information about your past?”

Best part of the episode: Dani and Abby were still somewhat flirty when they were among themselves. It’s proof that, even though their relationship didn’t prove to be long-lasting, they can still be friends after.
Worst part of the episode: If you have a friend like Beth, who snoops around your things and wants to read your personal emails, better stay far away from her. Beth’s behavior in this episode was utterly disgusting, and I cannot understand why I am supposed to like the character, now that she has proven she does not understand the concept of privacy. Beth and Abby’s “conflict” in the latter’s house wasn’t even funny, it was all just weirdly bad.
Weirdest part of the episode: For people who didn’t like the free alcohol Dani brought along, they surely drank almost all of it. Well, at least the writers managed to find a plot device to have the shots go down the throats of the bar patrons.
Player of the episode: It was the cat. Have a cat in your television episode, and you might win this one.

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