On the scale of sexy to sleazy, Flack sinks to the latter. Of course, it’s not as if they don’t warn you. At the beginning of each episode, in large print, you read: “WARNING: The celebrity culture you see is highly manipulated. Behind the scenes, it is sordid, shocking, and salacious . . . just like this show.” Every television network and streaming service wants that edgy new show to capture the minds and hearts of the younger audience. But, if Flack was such an animal, why did Pop drop it, phantom switch to W, Showtime not renew it, then move to Amazon Prime for a second season?
Granted, if Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, Trial of the Chicago 7) did sleaze, the dialogue in Flack has, at times, that same rapid-fire, witty feel. For example, when the new intern arrives, sharp-tongued Eve quips, “what are you wearing? You look like you’ve been kidnapped by a murderer and dressed in his mother’s clothes.” The PR firm of Mills Paulson specializes in crisis management and Robyn is the best. Or, as she says, “making the best of my natural talents, lying and drinking.” Robyn and her clients deal in sex, drugs, and alcohol, not always the image you want front and center. It gets repetitive real quick. I give Flack 3.0 Gavels and it receives a 68% Rotten Tomatoes rating with a 6.9/10 IMDB score.
A mistress of Anthony Henderson, famed chef and devoted husband, threatens to send photos to the tabloids. Winner of Britain’s Got Talent at age 15, the record label of Summer Bolton drops her as she transitions from classical to pop. Comedian Dan Proctor insults transgenders and his tour may be canceled. What does Robyn propose? Offer something better to those are about to expose secrets. These come at a cost, some quite steep. Robyn’s personal life is not much better. Henderson quotes “I’m intimidated by you because you’re more messed up than I am.”
Watching Summer Bolton, one wonders whether Anna Paquin (Alias Grace, The Irishman) remembers her transition from The Piano to Flack. This Robyn has all the look of taking a paycheck wherever you can find it. Lydia Wilson (Ripper Street) is best friend and co-worker, Eve. Dismissive of all not deemed to be her equal, she never fails to deliver a hateful remark.
“What are you so angry about?” “How much time you got?” Therein lies the problem with Flack. Virtually everyone is obnoxious. They exist in their own narcissistic world with the sole purpose to deceive. Whether true or not, the “same story, different characters” plot yields uncaring, unfaithful viewing.
“The professional challenges that Robyn faces are often plausible, and far more compelling than their resolutions, which are mostly stupid. Flack has little to say about celebrity culture.” The New Yorker
“Devil Wears Prada meets Absolutely Fabulous by way of Nurse Jackie.” The Movie Nation
Is Flack just filler for Amazon Prime?