Debuting on June 5 right after the much more promising Preacher, AMC’s Feed the Beast isn’t quite TV junk food but it certainly lacks sizzle and dramatic nutritional value, as I say in my video review above.
In fact, once it moves to its regular slot on June 7, the series starring Jim Sturgess and David Schwimmer as opposites-attract best friends attempting to open an up-market restaurant in the Bronx really is mostly an exercise for the cabler of trying to serve up a new night of original programming with a weak menu – even more so coming after the stellar limited series The Night Manager, which broke the Tuesday night new ground for AMC in April.
Based on the Danish series Bankerot and developed for Stateside TV by Dexter and Nurse Jackie showrunner Clyde Phillips, the 10-episode first season of FTB is a smorgasbord of clichés drenched in a sauce of weak writing and no heat between its leads.
As top-notch sommelier and widowed single dad Tommy Moran, Schwimmer looks and acts so beaten down it feels like he had more fun playing Robert Kardashian in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story this year. As a just-out-of-jail chef, Sturgess screams, shouts and occasionally cooks but doesn’t do much else thematically. His Dion Patras owes money to the mob and is a magnet for trouble and the usual sex, drugs and heavy-handed cops accouterments that come with that.
Yes, there is a foodie mob boss son and dentally inflicting baddie in Mad Men alum Michael Gladis as Patrick Woijchik aka the Tooth Fairy – who seems to be a pretense to have the underbelly of the underworld play a role in the show. Lorenza Izzo and Christine Adams are also on board as the potentially current and deceased past loves in Tommy’s life, as he tries to raise his traumatized and mute 10-year old son (Elijah Jacob). From what I’ve seen, the best role and performance in FTB comes from Gotham regular John Doman as Tommy’s old-school, racist but somewhat rich estranged father, who’s a contractor.
As watchable as Doman is, he isn’t enough, and ultimately Feed the Beast leaves you hungering for something far more.
So feast upon my Feed the Beast video review above and tell us what you think.