Freeform’s ‘Alone Together’ awkwardly explores new territory

 In their string of new shows to appeal to 20-something audiences, Freeform premiered “Alone Together” on Jan. 10. (Photo courtesy of Freeform)

In their string of new shows to appeal to 20-something audiences, Freeform premiered “Alone Together” on Jan. 10. (Photo courtesy of Freeform)

In their string of new shows to appeal to 20-something audiences, Freeform premiered “Alone Together” on Jan. 10. In a refreshing twist, the creators and producers of the show are also the stars, Esther Povitsky and Benji Aflalo. The two platonic friends and roommates are starving artists (well, actually, comedians), struggling to find work and survive the social hierarchies of L.A.

The show was originally shot by Povitsky and Aflalo as a short in 2015, after the two met at The Comedy Store, but has already been renewed for a second season by Freeform. Both do stand-up and improv but they are adamant about the fact that they are not a comedy duo, or in a romantic relationship.

“We have a codependent friendship and those friendships get a bad rap, but I think the codependent friendship helped us because we relied on each other,” Aflalo said of his relationship with Povitsky.

Povitsky and Aflalo’s friendship in the show is a confusing one. The storyline starts seemingly in media res, with very little background on the two of them or how they found each other. From the first episode, it seems that their relationship is primarily fueled by insults, complaints and verbal abuse. Barely one nice word is shared between the two throughout the show. A third friend is also introduced in the middle of the episode but we never even learn his name.

But Povitsky and Alfalo’s unique relationship is a welcome one. There are few other shows right now that have a male and female character that are just friends, without any romantic tension past, present or future. Since that is their reality, it’s easy for the two to portray it on screen.

“I don’t ever feel like there’s things we can’t do and there was never a sense of that,” said Aflalo to Splitsider in regards to writing the show. “I don’t feel restricted in any way...We love pulling things from our real lives, which honestly makes it easier because you don’t have to be as creative, you can just use stuff that actually happened.”

The humor is driven by sarcasm and a sad sense of relatability to millenials. A lot of the jokes and plotlines seem very forced, at least this far into the season. The show tries to be quirky and current, but ends up feeling scattered and lazy.

So far, “Alone Together” is nothing special, but the show is only a few episodes in. With time, I think we can expect to see the show grow into itself, as the cast becomes more comfortable with being on screen and with conveying their sense of humor.

Rating: 3/5


Julia Mancini is the associate life editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at Julia.mancini@uconn.edu.