Benched: Season 1 (2014)

Season 1

Critics Consensus

Benched's talented ensemble raises the show above its trite writing, resulting in a nicely diverting half-hour of comedy.



Critic Ratings: 16


Audience Score

User Ratings: 291

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Air date: Oct 28, 2014

Distinguished corporate lawyer Nina Whitley becomes a public defender after having an epic meltdown when her sacrifices in climbing the corporate ladder are rewarded by betrayals by her employers, in addition to her fiancé. The series premiere.

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Air date: Nov 4, 2014

Nina attends a gala honoring public defenders; however, her former colleagues are unimpressed.

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Air date: Nov 11, 2014

Nina tries desperately to fit in with the gang; Phil plays a cruel trick; Phil and Boring Larry take Carlos for a night on the town.

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Air date: Nov 18, 2014

Nina finds she needs a refresher on influencing jurors and winning friends after arguing her first jury trial; elsewhere, Phil and Trent face a curmudgeonly judge.

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Air date: Nov 25, 2014

Nina is worried she is being played by a private defense lawyer assigned to her case; Phil tries to impress a cute stenographer.

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Air date: Dec 2, 2014

Nina must accept that losing cases to Trent is a fact of life; Carlos gives up smoking, which worries the rest of the gang.

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Air date: Dec 9, 2014

Nina makes friends with a spunky forensics analyst who takes the concept of loyalty a bit too seriously; Carlos gets worrisome glimpse into Phil's life.

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Air date: Dec 16, 2014

Nina is assigned one of Phil's former defendants and lands herself in a bet with Phil. Meanwhile, Phil and Carlos decide to teach Micah a lesson.

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Air date: Dec 23, 2014

Nina discovers the D.A.'s plans to arrest the city's homeless and faces a crisis of conscience.

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Air date: Dec 30, 2014

An old friend asks Nina to set her up with Phil; a female judge takes a liking to Carlos; Nina goes on an ill-fated date of her own.

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Benched: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

In this single-camera comedy, distinguished corporate lawyer Nina Whitley (Eliza Coupe) becomes outraged after her firm chooses another lawyer to become a partner. Her subsequent meltdown burns bridges with her coworkers and bosses, forcing her to take a new job in the less glamorous Public Defender's Office. While she tries developing relationships with her new, less accomplished colleagues, she also faces old coworkers and her ex-fiancé—and professional rival—Trent (Carter MacIntyre).

Cast & Crew

Eliza Coupe
Nina Whitley
Oscar Nunez
Mehcad Brooks
George Grumbeigh Jr.
Peter Spruyt
Boring Larry
Fred Melamed
Judge Nelson
Annie Sertich
David Storrs
Messed-Up Guy
David Douglas
Mars Crain
O'Shea "Tinsy" Curtis
Michael S. Chambers
Michaela Watkins
Executive Producer
Damon Jones
Executive Producer
John Enbom
Executive Producer
Mark Gordon
Executive Producer
Andrea Shay
Executive Producer
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News & Interviews for Benched: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Benched Season 1

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (13)

With a balance of "laughing at" and "laughing with," Benched could grow on me.

Oct 28, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

So when a great part of Happy Endings joins up with a great part of Better Off Ted, magic occurs, right? Alas, no.

Oct 28, 2014 | Full Review…

There's plenty of time for Benched to find its legs. For now, though, Coupe remains a swizzle stick in desperate need of a better cocktail.

Oct 28, 2014 | Full Review…

It's a breezy, amusing half hour with a lead character whose insecurities poke through her confident exterior.

Oct 28, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Watching Coupe forced to play an 11th generation Private Benjamin, a woman so oblivious, elitist and tin-eared that it's almost impossible to imagine her graduating from college much less law school, is just no fun at all.

Oct 28, 2014 | Full Review…

The show's humor is grounded in Nina's fish-out-of-water career adjustment to a far less glamorous job and world, which may sound rather obvious, but works because of terrific writing by co-creators Michaela Watkins and Damon Jones.

Oct 28, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

[Eliza] Good as Coupe is, the rest of the ensemble needs to come into sharper focus in a hurry for most of the comedy to work. But she's a strong foundational piece.

Oct 28, 2014 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Benched blends some of the most attractive, practical characteristics of lawyer shows, fish-out-of-water narratives, and workplace comedies, breathing new life into all three modes of storytelling.

Oct 28, 2014 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

It's good to see the talented Eliza Coupe of ABC's canceled-too-soon Happy Endings back on TV. It would be even better to see her on a show at least half as funny as her old one.

Oct 27, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

It's a bit of stretch to ask any comedy to maintain that balance for forty-plus minutes; Benched is able to do it, though, anchored by a couple of fantastic scenes to close out the season.

Mar 4, 2020 | Full Review…

Former Happy Endings star Eliza Coupe headlines Benched, a funny enough comedy set in legal circles that gets off to a weak start but quickly recovers.

Oct 28, 2014 | Full Review…

This could have been just another bland and forgettable show. But Benched rises above its somewhat stale premise with bold, fresh writing and a cast with crack comic timing, given lines with verve and crackle.

Nov 14, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Benched: Season 1

  • Mar 28, 2021
    More like fired/quilty
  • Jan 18, 2015
    Very funny and well-written!
  • Dec 29, 2014
    Eliza Coupe of ABC's Happy Endings proof that she can steal all attention in new USA network's comedy Benchend all by herself . All pilot episode you think where she was all this time? And maybe she the next one queen of comedy? Maybe the last question will be hard to answer immediately so you must see more episodes (all season) because great scripted comedy with outstanding performance it's full package,and Benchend have all of this.
  • Nov 04, 2014
    Except for the over abundance and over use of foul language...this is hilariously funny and very entertaining.

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