Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Single Drunk Female - Pilot

The opening episode of Single Drunk Female introduces us to walking dumpster fire Samantha Fink (Sofia Black-D'Elia) whose alcoholism costs the young woman her job, 30 days in rehab, community service for assault, and court-mandated attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Forced to move back home, Sam's sobriety only lasts a day before old habits resurface. Picking herself up once more, ignoring the passive-aggressiveness of a mother (Ally Sheedy) on her last nerve, who may have not been as supportive in the best of times, Sam's new sober life begins again, this time in earnest.

While the comedic moments follow the usual over-the-top sitcom formula, the "Pilot" episode works for the most part. Sam's destructive behavior turns out to be mostly inner directed, although it does occasionally spill over to others, which is important as the audience needs to root for Sam if the show is going to have any chance. While finding support in AA, Sam doesn't earn the confidence of her mother or her case worker who both expect her to fail at the earliest opportunity. If strong support is crucial, Sam's off to a rocky start.

Raising the stakes to a full year of sobriety with jail as a serious consequence limits Sam's options to stumble over the season. Although it doesn't appear that Sam's sobriety will hurt the drama of her life which includes reuniting with a former fling, struggling to find new ways to enjoy her drunken friendships, and finally dealing the with causes and triggers for her drinking. While somewhat oblivious to what is happening to her, Sam doesn't feel like a lost cause largely thanks to Sofia Black-D'Elia's performance. However, she also doesn't appear to be fully aware of what she's gotten herself into.

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