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Alone Together - 'Road Trip' - Review: "I'll Be Spongebob"

Freeform’s 'Alone Together' is the comedy series written by and starring Esther Povitsky and Benji Aflalo and produced by none other than The Lonely Island. It tells the story of two friends, Esther and Benji, as they navigate life and love together in Los Angeles.

In the second episode of the season, it’s Benji’s birthday, and he’s spending it alone, feeling depressed and watching cartoons, as usual. To cheer him up, Esther suggests a road trip – what Benji doesn’t know is that Esther is simply using his driving ability to take them to Jeff’s comedy stand-up show.

For 22 minutes, this episode is an emotional roller-coaster for Benji. He goes from feeling depressed (over a reason that isn’t explicitly explained – perhaps, simply because he’s ageing), to being ecstatic over a birthday-themed road trip, to feeling betrayed and angry over being lied to, to suddenly being content over having ranted to an old man in the gym shower and forgiving Esther for her lies.

It is a weird plot for an episode, and it does put one thing in a clear perspective – Esther doesn’t really care about Benji. Instead of cheering him up, she puts her needs above his, repeatedly and constantly. They’re friendship is weird, but not surprising. On one hand, they’re terrible to each other – treat each other terribly, call each other names, lie to and use each other. On the other hand, they argue and bicker in that old friendship way that a lot of teenagers today have. My friends and I, personally, would probably push each other off a bridge, then laugh about it seconds later. As the audience, you start to realise that this show is written by millennials for millennials, and that really shows. Which, I suppose, can be a good thing because now we know who the true target audience is, and why some of the humour might not make it for older viewers.

Jeff makes another appearance again, which I like. Jeff’s humour and personality works well with the two MCs, and I love it when all three of them are together. There’s a scene about peeing on the side of the road, which is awkward on its own, but the bickering between the friends makes it light-hearted and enjoyable to watch. Which is something I can’t believe I just wrote, but there you go.

I’m also starting to sense a theme with either Benji or Esther being comforted by older males. After discovering Esther’s lies, Benji heads to a nearby gym to have a shower (to, and I quote, “shower off my mistakes” after eating fried food, which is definitely a mood, let’s be honest) and ends up ranting to an older fellow, who is showering next to them. It’s such a weird scene and would probably be considered almost nice if they weren’t both completely nude.

Finally, the one part I didn’t like was the conclusion of the episode. Instead of confronting each other about the lies and the arguing, the two decide to instead blame Jeff for ‘breaking them up’, even though he didn’t do anything (I may be biased). As a result, they sabotage his stand-up show by intensely heckling him, and thus rekindle their friendship.
I’m just going to be blunt; Benji and Esther are terrible people, who put themselves in easily-repairable situations. And yet, there’s something about this show that amuses me greatly, and keeps me watching. I don’t know what that is yet – maybe as a fellow millennial, I relate to their terrible-ness.

GRADE: I’m keeping to a 6/10, because, while the humour was slightly improved this time, the conclusion wasn’t satisfying, and my boy Jeff was hurt for no reason!

Is this the weirdest way to celebrate a birthday? Let me know your thoughts below!