'Mixology' puts new twist on sitcom

Bill Harris, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:37 PM ET

Mixology is mixing it up. For that, it deserves credit.

It's not often that you run across an idea for a sitcom that actually is different. Now, on the one hand Mixology – which debuts Wednesday, Feb. 26 on ABC and CTV – focuses on attractive people trying to hook up in a bar, which isn't exactly new. But the structure of Mixology puts a new twist on it.

The entire season of Mixology takes place over one night. The story focuses on 10 people in a bar who are there seeking various levels of interaction. That means some are seeking love, some are seeking sex, some are seeking both, and some aren't quite sure what they're seeking. The question is, who is going to get lucky?

When the cast of Mixology was asked about the comparatively low stakes involved here, meaning the world isn't going to end if these people don't get laid, it was Canadian Vanessa Lengies (Glee) who pointed out, “If people didn't get laid, the world wouldn't continue.”

Well, biologically speaking, touche.

Lengies plays Kacey, one of the waitresses at this crowded bar. By the way, despite the crowd, the bar always seems to quiet down when the characters need to talk, and always seems to have ample seating when the characters need to sit down. That's not exactly my personal experience, but we can chalk it up to the magic of TV.

Despite my previously stated admiration for the unique approach of Mixology, I guess what I'm wondering about is accessibility from an audience perspective if you don't watch right from the beginning of the series.

That, of course, is one of the limitations of reality-competition TV. If you don't watch, say, American Idol from the start, will you pick it up halfway through a season? It's unlikely, because you won't have much of an attachment to any of the competitors.

Not that it would be tough to follow Mixology if you arrived midway through the soiree, but it would be tougher to be invested in what happens to these characters. Then again, I suppose you could just go along for the ride, enjoying the eye candy and the occasionally snappy dialogue.

At first blush I have to say that the guy characters are weaker, way more stereotypical, than the girls. The males all seem to be obnoxious overconfident jerks, or unbelievably innocent wimps, or smarmy frauds.

That said, the dudes can provide some insight. For example, cute girls in a bar “always have a sad friend who just wants to go home.”

Also, if you're at a bar and a woman is wearing flats instead of heels, she definitely is not looking for sex on that particular night.

Notably, Lengies concurred.

“It has to do with effort,” she said. “Like, it's not comfortable to wear high heels. So if we're wearing them, we're trying. Do you know what I mean? It doesn't mean we're trying to have ... ”

At which point Ginger Gonzaga, who plays Maya, clarified, “I would say heels don't necessarily mean you're really just trying to mate with someone, but flats definitely say nothing is happening tonight.”

Mixology exists not just to entertain, but to educate.

Twitter: @billharris_tv

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca


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