There isn’t much to it, but a relevant premise and likable characters make Off the Hook a laidback comfort show.
This review of Off the Hook season 1 is spoiler-free.
As someone who has a minor anxiety attack if my phone is switched off for even a moment, I can totally relate to the premise of Netflix’s French comedy series Off the Hook. We all spend so much time on our various devices that we’ve forgotten what time away from them even feels like. Would our lives be better? Would we be healthier, happier, more fulfilled? These are the questions that Lea and Manon are hoping to answer after going completely cold turkey from the phones and social media profiles.
That’s the hook of Off the Hook, but the real selling point is that central relationship. Lea and Manon both arrive at the same ill-advised conclusion after personal woes lead them to a drunken night out and an anti-technology pact. Lea is still obsessively hung up on her ex-boyfriend, Guillaume, and Manon’s plans to make it in the music business have been derailed by an embarrassing viral video. Both need a break from the smashed-up devices that they wake up to.
Of course, that break comes with various perils, especially since so much of contemporary society revolves around always-online communication and self-promotion. Off the Hook is as much a cautionary tale about this kind of excessive technological reliance as it is about addiction in general, and how to divorce oneself from something that has become utterly habitual. It leads to some decently funny shenanigans and the odd semi-profound realization, even if the script can’t necessarily hold the idea together over six half-hour episodes.
As mentioned above, it’s really the relationship between Lea and Manon that drives everything. They’re not exactly chalk and cheese, but they’re different enough that their dynamic feels quite novel, and they’re as charming as they are slightly hopeless. That lightness of touch keeps Off the Hook watchable, though it can’t be said the show ever becomes especially memorable either.