With all the hype around Netflix’s Daredevil you probably missed the very quiet release of Netflix’s Flaked, created by and starring Will Arnett. It is the story of Chip, played by Arnett, a recovering alcoholic and Alcoholic’s Anonymous group leader. The show is excellent, and it is one that I urge you to watch.
The show is a character-driven examination of the deeply flawed Chip, who struggles with sobriety and keeping a casual relationship and his unproductive design studio afloat. He is a man who, ten years earlier, was driving drunk when he struck and killed someone. In his daily quest to turn his life around he remains a deeply flawed character who rarely gives straight answers and who, despite his leadership role in his community, rarely helps friends when they need help. Chip and the other characters remain very human throughout the series, which is to say, flawed, multilayered, and at times contradictory. The realism and depth of the characters is such that not only does it seem like you are joining lives in progress but it seems as though the characters are real enough to step out of the screen and sit on the couch next to you.
Will Arnett deserves accolades for his understated portrayal of Chip, as do David Sullivan, Ruth Kearney and guest star Christopher Mintz-Plasse. With such character-driven plot the acting needs to be top-notch, and in this series it is. After establishing a firm grounding the series really takes off when a character from Chip’s past returns.
As I write spoiler-free reviews I am unable to discuss too much of the plot, suffice it to say that it is very intriguing. The show is a slow-burner but your patience will be rewarded with some character growth and more revealed depth. My only complaint is the brevity of the series as eight episodes is a paltry amount with which to explore the characters, their problems and their lives. As such I eagerly await the next season and a return of Chip and company to my screen and couch.
Flaked is streaming now on Netflix.