FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS “The Benefit of the Mute Button” Review


FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS “The Benefit of the Mute Button” Season 1 Episode 2 – The second episode of NBC’s FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS “The Benefit of the Mute Button” attempts to answer the age-old question, “What happens to your no-strings-attached sexual relationship when someone you want to actually date comes along?” The answer seems to be wacky miscommunications all around!

Sara, who has been sleeping with her friend Ben, meets a fellow doctor who just might be The One. She decides to put sex with Ben on pause while she explores this possibility, perfect timing since Ben has a Australian gal pal coming into town who might let him get to second base after three years of over-the-bra action.

Of course, neither one of these dalliances could ever work out, but it’s entertaining to watch them epically fail due to A) the continued reluctance of human beings to honestly talk with someone who’s just seen their naughty bits and B) the always funny (’cause they actually happen) shortcomings of AutoCorrect.

Clearly, Ben and Sara aren’t ready for real relationships yet. If they were, they would be able to see that they’re already in one with each other. And this would a very short-lived TV show.

Lucky for us (and the writers) we have Aaron and Riley to worry about, as well. As predicted, following their hookup, Aaron is ready to commit himself 100% to Riley. She, of course, isn’t thinking about him as anything more than a friend with whom she happened to have sex. But to my surprise, her ultimate rejection of Aaron isn’t cruel or condescending. It’s actually honest. According to her, she’s not the kind of girl he’s looking for and it’s hard to argue with her logic.

From what we know of Aaron right now, he wants a girl who wants romance. That might not be what he ultimately needs, but he’ll have to figure that out on his own. In the meantime, Riley just wants to get laid and feed the rats who apparently share her apartment. Not a great match…if she is being totally honest and not just pushing away something she really does want because she thinks she isn’t good enough for it. Which, now that I think about it, sounds entirely plausible in both TV Land and the real world.

One of the best things about this episode is that Fitz/Hoon has some actual lines and a hookup of his own, even if it’s a slightly creepy one with an cougar politician. While a fan of sex and friends, he does not support friends having sex with friends. At this point, depending on your own experience and/or personal morality when it comes to such things, he’s either completely right or uncharacteristically naive. Either way, he’s bound to be shocked when he finds out he’s the only one in the group who isn’t banging within the group.

While I was glad to find a more three-dimensional Riley than what I saw in the pilot, I wasn’t thrilled with Sara’s continued neurotic quirkiness, which can so easily grate on the nerves if it’s not tempered with self-awareness. I didn’t mind the voiceovers so much this time, but if there’s another “getting-ready-to-go-out” montage in the third episode, I will start to wonder if the Friends With Benefits writing staff have enough to do every week.

Things I Liked: The bagpipe serenade (that’s my sort-of Scottish ancestory speaking), the idea that zombies are crazy in bed.

Things I’m Looking Forward To: Seeing what other vegetables Ryan Hansen will be called upon to hold against his junk.

Best Line: “I got a bikini wax that was Mr. T in the front, Mr. Clean in the back.”

Did you like the second episode better than the pilot? Do you want to give Aaron a hug of sympathy or a punch of manliness? Does anyone else feel like taking up the vuvuzela? Let me know below!