"Alone Together" Review

May 29, 2020

Esther Povitsky and Benji Aflalo are 20-something besties who are often mistaken for girlfriend-boyfriend, but the real-life duo wrote a series that is smarter than the "will they or won't they" storyline.  

The title is fitting not only because they are two single people who have each other's back, but because they couldn't make new friends if they paid for them (and Benji could). Due to their personalities and social skills, Esther and Benji can't seem to make a connection, a notion felt by many people older than 25, especially the introverts. (I'm talking about myself)  It's okay, though, because the quick wit and comfort that these two have with each other suggests that they have been friends forever! They probably have their own language, at least a secret hand shake, that they created at summer camp.

 

The writing rarely touches on adult topics like holding a job or maintaining an income, neither of which seems to be an issue since Benji lives in a mansion with his older brother, paid for by his absent parents.  Don't get it wrong, though; Benji isn't written as a spoiled brat who looks down on everyone around him. Rather, Benji knows his place on the social ladder.  As the youngest of three, he was raised by the housekeeper and doesn't seem to have the style or physique of his older siblings.  This could be due to the fact that his mother scheduled a c-section when she was only 7-months pregnant; a sample of his dry humor that is often followed by a smart remark from Esther.

 

Although she is at Benji's place all the time, Esther has an over-accessorized studio apartment of her own.  The decor nods at her impulses and life long quest to fit in.  She watches beauty tutorials, and will camp out for a new makeup line.  She doesn't know how to cook, and Benji is her chaffeur.  Even when she is being mocked for her efforts, her naivety keeps her from being hard on herself, and Benji will protect her from anyone who tries to open Esther's eyes.

 

There is no series-long goal, this is a sitcom, but these characters' personalities keep you coming back for more.  Without each other, Ether would probably be dead in a ditch after a night of following the wrong crowd, and Benji would spend his days staring at the aquarium in his bedroom.  An ongoing joke is that these two best friends are viewed as losers, pathetic, floaters.  But I'm envious of their tight relationships and how they are making the most of that!

 

If you enjoy "Alone Together," check out "Difficult People;" both are available on HULU.

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