Netflix’s ‘Easy’ is worth binging


Promotional photo for the Netflix original series “Easy”.

On Sept. 22 Netflix premiered “Easy”, a new show created by Joe Swanberg. It’s about sex and other things, but mostly about sex.

Unlike most Netflix series, this eight episode show tells eight tangentially connected stories. Since each episode has a unique flavor to it, episodes in “Easy” were reviewed individually.

“The F*king Study”
It’s not a good sign when the first episode of “Easy” begins on such a disappointing step. “The F*king Study” never finds the comedic beat or the emotional depth it needs when telling the story of a couple who wants to spice up their sex life after nine years of marriage. Michael Chernus and Rebecca Spence give compelling performances as the on screen husband and wife. It’s their chemistry that makes the episode so watchable. The well rounded characters combined with the storyline’s failure adequately serve them at the end was frustrating. Does anyone have a suggestion on how to rinse a bitter taste out their mouth, because this episode sure leaves one once it’s concluded.

“Vegan Cinderella”
A young college student decides to become a vegan after a night of passion with an activist. “Vegan Cinderella” was genuinely funny when exploring how far someone would go to impress a new partner in a relationship. Kiersey Clemons shows the struggles of living up to a partner’s idealism while struggling to live their own life and the balance between drama and comedy made it a joyful watch.

“Brewery Brothers”
This episode’s emotional center on family helped make it a good half hour of television. Evan Jonigkeit and Dave Franco star as brothers Matt and Jeff, who start an illegal brewery in secret from Matt’s wife. Both lead actors play well off of each other as they bicker like real brothers and have moments of silent unspoken brotherly love. The supporting cast play their parts spectacularly as well as crafting a believable family to surround this fictional brewery.

With an all latino cast speaking mostly Spanish dialogue, “Controlada” had a slow tension filled burn to it. The episode focuses on a couple trying to get pregnant while dealing with a hard partying friend who crashed at their house. All three of the main actors give superb performances as they try to navigate the new living situation. When the episode reaches its climax, it leaves the audience gasping.

“Art and Life”
Marc Maron playing a Harvey Pekar like graphic artist, learns a thing or two about separating art and real life when he has a one night stand with a young photographer. There’s a sadness Maron injects into Jacob as the character can never not stop documenting an event in his life for his graphic novel. Emily Ratajkowski plays the young photographer and was completely unrecognizable as she disappeared into her role. The episode makes some good points about life versus art and was one of the best stories in the series.

In the case of “Utopia,” a couple decides to join tinder after talking with their friend and have a threesome. There was something uniquely satisfying with the episode. It has a great premise, but the actors undermine it. Every line delivered by Orlando Bloom, Malin Akerman and Kate Micucci sounded like they’re trying to speak after hearing a hilarious joke and it becomes distracting. It’s a shame because this episode had so much potential.

“Chemistry Read”
Post break up, a young actress tries cope with growing older while seeking career possibilities in Los Angeles. The whole episode has an existential melancholy that does not drag the story’s pace down. It keeps things interesting and fascinating to watch how characters try to balance everything that’s going on around them.

“Hops Dreams”
In a follow up from “Brewery Brothers”, Matt and Jeff have to decide what direction their business should go in after a reporter comes to interview them for a story. It was nice seeing where the brothers went from their first appearance, but this episode felt out of place from the rest of the series. There was nothing extremely special about as to why the two brothers should have a continuation of their story over the others.

Final verdict on the show:
At times being a slog to get through, “Easy” becomes a show worth adding to anyone’s binging list.

George Johnston can be reached at [email protected] or @gjohnston786 on Twitter.