Well, it finally happened! And I have to say, that the final segments of Unproductive were my favorite because after all the break up drama between Ben and Cate, which catapulted the crew into squabbling and dismantling, we got to see them communicate effectively, come to a resolution, make up, and do their jobs. What’s more important is that after such an emotionally grueling semester with each other they grew, and character development (for me) is essential to any story line.
What I like about the show is the witty one-liners, the depiction of co-worker friendships, and the overall simplicity of the story. Another positive aspect to point out is that the actors seemingly have great chemistry, as though they could be the crew they are portraying. I also think the acting is pretty good – there are small awkward moments scattered throughout, but overall their lines and interactions flow naturally.
What I don’t like has more to do with characterization, for instance, Cate taking the blame for the group’s fall out in episode 10. Yes, she dumped Ben in a completely inconsiderate way, given how long they’ve dated and how things were going well during their time together, but the issue should have been a private one between her and Ben, not the entire group. Cate is in no way responsible for initiating the group’s meltdown, and as far as I remember, she makes one big blunder due to jealousy: bashing Bracha via the teleprompter. I think the group’s need to place the blame on someone else for their own behavior is beyond immature. They should checked their own emotions and conduct themselves like reasonable adults. So that’s just one of my qualms. I don’t understand the logic behind Cate shouldering the blame. She made a mistake, as we all do, but she thoroughly examined herself and apologized. Compared to most of the crew, she carried herself fairly gracefully throughout the entire fiasco.
One character I cannot stand is Ben because he acts incredibly immature about Cate breaking up with him. Understandably, he’s hurt but blasting their private situation in front of the crew is wrong of him. That to me was the catalyst for the crew’s fallout. He simply could have asked or spoken with Cate about why she broke it off with him in private. Had he taken the time to do so, the drama may have been avoided. Public venues and in the presence of others is not the way to go about it. Not to mention, he should have apologized as well for his part in the drama because he certainly went out of his way to keep it going. It honestly grates my nerves that Ben is portrayed as an innocent victim the entire time. In addition, while Ben is so heartbroken and constantly throwing a tantrum over his former relationship, he’s also hitting pretty hard on Bracha. I find it quite awkward and even distasteful that he pursues Bracha immediately after the break up (which he’s still whining about) and she happens to be the new girl in crew. Hmmm… it makes me question if Bracha was some sort of rebound for him, or perhaps an emotional band aid, which isn’t exactly a healthy way to start a relationship, or even end one. Basically, Ben didn’t develop at all. He didn’t apologize for being irrational and hauling his emotional baggage to work. He didn’t hold himself responsible for perpetuating the altercations. Quite frankly, he frustrates me and it’s exhausting to rant about him, so I’ll move on to one of my favorites: Sam.
Sam is usually reasonable, laid back, and somewhat “motherly” to her peers. The thing about Sam is that she has issues with her parents that run deep. She seems to be the type who suppresses her feelings until things boil over and the lid blows. Sam puts her friends and their interests before her own, and in order to obtain some sort of balance, her friends should do the same for her. Circumstances just pile on her without reprieve, which is probably the reason she turns to alcohol when she’s really down. Fortunately, the end of the series implies that she will receive the emotional support she needs from the crew. Other characters I enjoy are Cate for her inclination toward self-examination, Theo for his humor and the fact that he displays another side of himself with Sam in the end of the series, and David for his dry humor and growth in his leadership. Just a side note: Theo and David are annoying at times but show some layers, which makes them a little interesting. Although they are good people, I wouldn’t find myself within this circle of friends, but I’d possibly hang out with at least a couple of them separate from the group, namely Sam and Cate.
The show ended well, but predictable. Resolving their issues with each other and finally become productive was a foregone conclusion to the mess, and David was finally able to take the reigns as a producer, as was his main endeavor. Seems to me that they will all work together just like old times, but with their newest friend Bracha. Actually, I think they’ll be even closer due to their trials and sorting it out together. In the end, the rough experience brought them closer as friends and co-workers, and I believe they will know how to handle certain disputes among each other, should any more arise.