ABC Family’s new workplace romcom, “Kevin From Work,” is headed to the Human Resources department. The show, debuting with back-to-back episodes beginning at 7 p.m. Aug. 12, follows the awkward relationship between good guy Kevin (Noah Reid) and his cubicle mate Audrey (Paige Spara), with whom he is madly in love. She’s the only good thing about his crappy job at the food company.
So when Kevin lands a truffles-and-salt manager job in Europe, he’s more than happy to say good riddance to his current job—if not to Audrey. After a drunken goodbye party, Kevin goes old school and writes her not a drunken text, but a drunken letter. He stamps it and mails it and passes out. The next day, when he hears that the Italian company has eliminated his position, he frantically tries to intercept it before Audrey reads it.
He needs to get back his old job, and doesn’t want her to know how he feels if he’s actually working with her.
Reid pulls off the sweet awkwardness to make Kevin a likable hero. Kevin’s plight is pretty amusing, although I’m not sure how the thin premise will last for 10 episodes.
As the story goes on we’re introduced to three female characters that could lead “Kevin From Work” to HR.
The letter makes it to Audrey’s roommate, Patti (Punam Patel), before Kevin can grab it. His negotiation to get it back ends with Patti pulling him into her bed. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Later she tells anyone who will listen that he’s her new boyfriend.
When Patti breaks into Kevin’s apartment—I have to give Patel credit; she does make stalking kind of funny—she meets Kevin’s man-crazed sister, Roxie (Jordan Hinson). Roxie just arrived in Los Angeles, and during her road trip west asked another driver to cover his kids’ eyes so she could flash him.
Kevin’s boss Julia (Amy Sedaris) also likes to flash men—by wearing short skirts and no underwear a la Sharon Stone in “Basic Instinct.” She’s a stereotypical cougar-on-the-prowl. (Is it OK for me to use that term?)
Individually, these three characters probably wouldn’t raise a red flag, but all three in the same show is a different story.
I’m not quite sure what show creator Barbie Adler and her executive producers, Aaron Kaplan and McG, are trying to do with these caricatures. Are they slut-shaming? Are they trying to make Audrey look better by comparison to these women? Or are they, in the current rule of comedy master Amy Schumer, stating that women, too, can be as horny as men and DEAL WITH IT?
I don’t know! If their purpose was the latter—they didn’t quite pull it off. The characters are a little too one-note and a majority of the jokes are not sophisticated enough to make me buy it.
I admit I laughed at times, but ultimately not enough to watch more “Kevin From Work.”
Watch the hourlong premiere Wednesday and come back to tell me what you think.