3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
An overlooked gem, 2 Nov. 2011
I missed 'Free Agents' at the time it aired & caught it later on 4OD, Channel 4's internet player service, and I'm so glad I did. 'Free Agents' is wonderful and so far exceeded my expectations that I'm giving it a rare 5. It wasn't perfect, the first episode had some lulls, but overall this is a fantastic achievement, funny but also tragically moving. I can't lie, the final episode had me in tears. I'm very fond of Stephen Mangan and he was the reason I decided to watch this in the first place, but credit must also go to Sharon Horgan for her part in creating the quirky & lovable dynamic between their two characters, which is really the key to making the show hang together. The characters deal, in a realistically awkward way, with the dilemma of falling in love when you think you're incapable of a relationship (Alex & Sophie are, respectively, getting divorced and recently bereaved, so they're both somewhat obsessed with their absent exes).
The supporting cast members are also first class, every performance is a joy to watch. Credit must of course go to Anthony Head for his turn as the gloriously foul-mouthed, sex-obsessed and much-married boss of the agency where Alex & Sophie work, and to Matt Holness as their rude & socially-inept fellow agent. They are not alone though: Alex's children; Sophie's obsessive, controlling almost-sister-in-law; Sarah the equally disappointed old flame; Emma-who-isn't-anyone's-PA; Doctor Two-Scenes, the agency's pitifully unimportant bit-part client; all these and many smaller are deftly realised, helping to set the scene for the programme with aplomb.
The most upsetting thing about the show, however, is the apparent absence of another series. I really hope C4 bring it back, but the success of BBC's 'Episodes' probably means Stephen Mangan is tied up for a while. Which isn't exactly a shame because I enjoyed 'Episodes', but I think 'Free Agents' is far & away the superior show. Nevertheless, I still encourage people to enjoy what they've got. We need more comedy like this on British TV.