During the first “golden age” of television, screens across America were dominated by the likes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone and the myriad of “Playhouse” and “Theater” programs—which makes it hard to argue against anthology series being the king of the ’50s. This was probably in part due to the radio plays that ruled the airwaves utilizing a similar style of storytelling. The anthology series held on strong for quite some time, but seemed to have all but faded in the last few decades preceding of the 21st century.
All of that seemed to change in the last few years as the style has gained moment with series such as American Horror Story, Fargo and True Detective. While the genre has adapted in most cases to allow for season-length stories, the one-off story style of Twilight Zone and its kin still exist in shows like the recently returned Black Mirror and the subject of this review, Easy.
Each episode of Easy stars a new cast of characters played by new actors, so writing about the characters of “The F**king Study” seems unimportant to the series as a whole, but when has the bar for discussion ever been set to only things that were important?
“The F**king Study” follows the relationship of Kyle (Michael Chernus) and Andi (Elizabeth Reaser), a married couple with kids who seem a bit lost in the current state of their relationship. The two are content with the general level of dissatisfaction they have with their sex lives and relationship as a whole until one of their friends brings up a study about how couples who adhere to more traditional gender roles have more sex and more enjoyable sex than those who don’t.
This causes a bit of a kerfuffle for the two because Kyle is a stay-at-home dad who is writing the play he hopes to be his magnum opus while Andi gave up her theater career to be the breadwinner for the family.
Easy is eager to showcase the ways in which relationships have evolved over time and the struggles that accompany having a modern relationship.
The issues with Andi and Kyle in “The F**king Study” are all too familiar, however. Even if the story focuses on how the couple struggles due to their reversed stereotypical gender roles, the real problem with the relationship seems to stem more from not being able to find the time and effort to work on their own relationship when they have two kids and work to keep them busy.
There are signs throughout the first episode that show the two definitely love each other and are attracted to each other, but the relationship require more than they can regularly give to be properly maintained and they seem content to leave it that way.
Saturday Night Live did a sketch in their fourth episode of the new season that tackled shows like Transparent being labeled as comedies because of their half-hour format and the occasional “joke” and that can definitely be applied to Easy as well.
I am not sure that I found Easy enjoyable; it didn’t have any particularly funny moments and it felt more like a light drama than a comedy. Is there anything wrong with that? No, but I can’t think of a time when I would want to sit down and watch more Easy other than doing so for this review.
There is no storyline that runs through Easy, so I am not sure I can make a plot prediction about what will happen in the finale—however, I do feel like Netflix will quietly renew this series for a second season before letting it die shortly after.
Easy seems like it might end up being hard to love for audiences outside of seeing actors or comedians they enjoy appear in something new. There is probably some catharsis to be had here for people who are struggling through their relationships (or lack thereof), but I don’t think relatability would be enough to keep the series afloat if it didn’t have the actors to back it up.
In the larger context of shows you should watch this season, Easy is easily skipped.
If you’re interested in the series, the first season of Easy is available to watch on Netflix. If you’d like to see what else Daniel is watching, you can check his Trakt page to keep up-to-date with all of his shows.