I would best define Flaked as a passion project for Will Arnett. It is a small budget Netflix show with an extremely small focus, a group of people struggling with alcoholism and Alcoholics Anonymous in Venice, California. To me it feels like a bone Netflix gave to Arnett to keep him happy and willing to come back for more seasons of Bojack Horseman and Arrested Development. Although, in this new age of Netflix cancellations it makes sense that the second season was only 6 half-hour episodes.
The eight-episode first season was a dark comedy that allowed you to see some light at the end of the tunnel. Then, abruptly sealed that light away by having Chip cash in all the good will he’s gained with the good people of Venice in a scummy land deal. Season 2 leads us deeper into that darkness as we find out Chip got screwed out of his end of the deal as well. Meaning he double-crossed the people who have trusted him and taken him in for nothing.
Instead of sending chip down a deeper emotional hole, he comes out alright and is just trying to do his best for the majority of the season. But we see that even when he tries his best, sometimes people still get hurt. Case in point, Dennis. Dennis is the tragedy of season 2, taking Chip in again, becoming his sponsor, then ultimately caving under the pressure and drinking himself into almost getting arrested. This is really the emotional arc of the season but Arnett’s laissez faire take on his character makes a lot of it ring hollow.
When the show is able to honestly portray the struggle of on again off again alcoholics trying to piece their life back together, it really shines. But too often is it mired in its own malaise to move the story forward and the writing as a whole isn’t witty enough to keep your attention.
by Christopher Moore
This post first appeared on http://screeningclub.com/2017/07/10/season-review-flaked-season-2/ on ScreeningClub.com.