Flaked Season 1 available March 11 on Netflix.
Thanks to the rising popularity of releasing entire TV seasons at once, far too many series now resemble long, drawn-out movies, without any sense of episodic storytelling. Netflix dramedy Flaked is one of the worst offenders, taking eight half-hour episodes to tell a meandering, listless story that could easily be told in half the time (or less) in a feature film. Co-created by Will Arnett and Mark Chappell (who also wrote all eight episodes), Flaked stars Arnett as Chip, a supposedly charming slacker in Venice, California, who spends his time bicycling around town, leading Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and being pursued by a seemingly unlimited parade of young, attractive women.
One of those women, a waitress named London (Ruth Kearney), kicks off the show’s minimal plot, as Chip and his best friend Dennis (David Sullivan) passive-aggressively compete for her affections (while pretending not to). Arnett is good at playing self-absorbed narcissists (as he’s done on fellow Netflix shows Arrested Development and BoJack Horseman), but his conception of Chip is way off, especially when the entitled, inconsiderate character is meant to be sympathetic. Flaked offers up weak jokes and even weaker drama, as later episodes pile on contrived, overwrought plot twists. A feature film version could have tightened up the storytelling—or at least ended sooner.