- 1 Season
Benched is an American comedy series that aired on the USA network from 2014-2015. Starring Eliza Coupe as the lead character, Nina Whitley, the show revolves around a tough-as-nails corporate lawyer who is forced to take a job as a public defender after being passed over for a promotion at her previous firm. As the series begins, Nina is at the top of her game, representing big corporations and winning high-profile cases. She's ruthless in the courtroom and has no problem with bending the rules to get what she wants. However, when she's passed over for a partnership at her firm, she snaps and has a meltdown in front of the entire office. She's fired on the spot and forced to start over. With no other options, Nina takes a job as a public defender in the same courthouse where she used to reign supreme. It's a huge step down for her, and she's not thrilled about it. The show follows her as she navigates her new surroundings, learning to work with her new colleagues, including Carlos (Oscar Nunez) and Cheryl (Maria Bamford), and taking on clients who are often down on their luck and in desperate need of her help. The show has a strong focus on Nina's character development, as she comes to terms with the fact that she may have been on the wrong side of the law in her previous job. She begins to see things from a different perspective and learns to empathize with her clients, who are often overlooked by the legal system. Along the way, she also deals with the aftermath of her personal life, including a messy breakup and strained relationships with her family. One of the strengths of the show is the chemistry between the cast members. Eliza Coupe shines as the lead, delivering fast-paced dialogue with ease and bringing a unique energy to the show. The supporting cast is equally impressive, with Oscar Nunez and Maria Bamford delivering standout performances as Nina's colleagues. The show also features a number of guest stars, including Jay Harrington, Fred Melamed, and Tom Cavanagh, who add to the already strong ensemble. In terms of the show's tone, it strikes a balance between comedy and drama, with some episodes feeling more lighthearted and others delving deeper into the emotional lives of the characters. Despite the serious subject matter, the show never feels too heavy, thanks to its sharp writing and quick wit. At its core, Benched is a show about second chances and finding meaning in unexpected places. Overall, Benched is a smart, well-acted comedy that manages to balance humor with heart. Its strong character development and intriguing premise make it a standout in the crowded field of legal dramas, and its talented cast ensures that it's a joy to watch from start to finish. If you're a fan of shows like Parks and Recreation, The Mindy Project, or Brooklyn Nine-Nine, you'll definitely want to give Benched a try.