Sypnosis: Flaked is the serio-comic story of Chip, a celebrated long-time resident of the insular world of Venice, California who falls for the object of his best friend’s fascination. Soon the tangled web of half-truths and semi-bullshit that underpins his all-important image and sobriety begins to unravel.
This series snowflaked lazily onto the Netflix selection one fine day. It's funny to think of how one can describe people as 'flakey' and 'undependable'. Yet, this show really is about the inner turmoils of being that 'flakey' bro. It's got a relaxing summer gone too soon soundtrack and a pacing equally lithe and easy-going. It feels like a hybrid of the play Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller and the tragicomedy inherent in Fun Home by Alison Beschdel.
Will Arnett plays the titular character, Chip (Will Arnett), tying in all the disparities and simultaneous stories into one about a recovering alcoholic and those trying to make sense of life within this difficult economic time period.
It's hard to turn yourself away from the reality that the bro like characters are struggling just as much with day to day living as the lady characters with jobs, relationships and identity. The particular dame that's caught Chip's attention really is also trying to make sense of her own personal tragedy.
The show is really very much alligned with the concept of the 'tragi-comedy', because it begins with an off-screen death being remininsed upon by Chip. Then it comes up again as being at the core of why he tries so hard to overcome alcoholism and his difficult failure to become an actor past. It's this sense of comedy that goes with his day job of making stools, and his ineptitude to adapt to the technological innovations of the internet and the reality that the small time life is just a facade for the sinister reality that life is not getting any easier for him. That's not to say that Chip is the only one with tragedy to contend with. London (Ruth Kearney) also faces the tragedy face first by confronting Chip about it on a multitude of ocassions, each time revealing more details that Chip leaves out at the alcoholics anonymous meetings he usually hosts.
The series takes place on this perfect looking beach town of Venice, California: dipped in sunset hues from the opening to the actually on site promenading characters partake in. It's got the small town feel that every character from restaurant clerk, to distillery district deliveries, to town hall, to the lazy bungalow housing is interconnected.
The most jarring sites are Chip's wifes' mansion home: full with security intel to the lawyer office spaces that she regularly visits. There's a sense of foreboding from the opening narration, that Chip's wife leaves out details that Chip too tries to face. As his friends try to defend and help him through his personal turmoils, we get a sense that it's not that funny: what Chip's going through.
It's easy to dismiss the superficial structure of Arnett's character trying to deal with misunderstandings between his 'bro-friends' for different ladies that they are in love with. But it is hard to ignore the prowess that Arnett and the cast have woven a story where everyone is simultaneously likeable. It's a rare feat to make even the villains difficult to hate.
The plot twists in this show are enough to warrant a second season potential. It's unfortunate that it came and went as lazy as the summer opening implies. It's like a slower burn, but that's what it means to wake up from a summer. Everyone's a little flakey sometimes and exploring that why is enough to make this show interesting.
This lady is apparently a double Major in Psychology and English literature with a minor in Anthropology. She spends most of her time rolling around in confusion in awe at the beauty of new narrative structures. Such new narratives include movies, television, animation, sequential graphic novel arts, video games and more.