welcome to Until next time, a column that gives you an overview of the latest televisions. This week, Valerie Ettenhofer takes a look at Kevin Can F *** Himself, a structure-breaking drama / sitcom hybrid that airs on AMC +.
As we move into the 21st century, traditional sitcoms seem increasingly outdated. So why won’t they die? Sure, in our broadcast blissful world, it’s easier to ignore them than ever, but a sea of man-boy protagonists still thrive on syndication and mainstream networks, with canned laughter following their every move.
The ambitious new AMC series Kevin can fuck himself He doesn’t just want to see the traditional format of sitcoms die; he wants to be the one to hit his brain. The Valerie Armstrong series follows Allison McRoberts (Schitt’s coveis excellent Annie Murphy), a deluded housewife whose life is divided between the endless comedy antics of her husband, Kevin (Eric Petersen), and the unfolding crisis that begins when she learns that he has saved a great deal. secret. her.
This is where Kevin can fuck himselfthe most divisive element enters; the series is literally half of a sitcom. Every time Kevin is on screen, it’s a multi-camera situational comedy, complete with bright studio lighting, goofy companions, and an overwhelming laugh track. When Allison isn’t with Kevin, her world is darker and more dynamic, filmed like, well, an AMC drama. It’s a daring and disorienting structure, one that asks viewers to come for a ride unlike anything they’ve seen before. It’s certainly a trip worth punching a ticket for, as the four episodes available for review are caustic and exciting, laced with enough mystery and plot momentum to keep viewers on the edge of their seats, and on edge. in general.
Kevin can fuck himself can be read as a meta hate letter to the genre dynamics of American sitcoms (its title seems to allude to the series directed by Kevin James Kevin can wait, which infamously murdered the protagonist’s wife after a season). However, his rhetorical ambitions go much further. Allison is trapped in a dead end, small-town world ravaged by opioids, alcoholism, xenophobia, and commonplace misogyny. One might assume that Allison envisions her husband as a sitcom hero because he and those around him mindlessly engage in the kind of blind, one-dimensional optimism that ignores everything beyond the reach of their living room. . The real-life situation comedy, a life case that mimics bad art, is a common phenomenon; If you’ve ever heard a family member put more effort into “old ball and chain” jokes than working on your actual marriage, you’ve seen it too. Kevin can fuck himself It seeks not only to uncover the rot within one of America’s foundational television genres, but also in the hearts of the people who watch, internalize, and even inspire them.
Interestingly, the show doesn’t make Allison a completely sympathetic female lead either. She is relentlessly driven, often by fantasy, and while many of those around her try to find the best version of themselves within the given circumstances, she feels trapped to the point of extreme action. His eventual partner in crime is Patty (Mary Hollis Inboden), a neighbor who played the role of the sarcastic character for a decade before finally focusing better. Inboden is the series’ secret weapon, channeling a young Rosie O’Donnell as she scowls through a curtain of black hair, a cigarette perpetually in hand. Patty is the ideal link between the show’s world of sitcoms and its world of dramas, as her dark humor and unflappable personality seem to feel right at home in both.
The series ‘divided structure may be boring for some, but both halves are pointy and intriguing, full of clues to the series’ ultimate ideology. We see Allison constantly undermined during the comedy plots, simultaneously thrown like a stick in the mud and the only real and capable adult in the room. The show’s stark contrasts are informative, and soon the tropes of sitcoms start to seem like red flags, like when Kevin says he never let Allison have a pet because he doesn’t want anything to compete with her cuteness. Meanwhile, the characters in the series’ dark drama midway are not immune to the American sitcom mental state. Allison’s co-worker at the local liquor store constantly tells her that her husband’s needs are the most important thing, only this time, there is no punchline.
Kevin can fuck himself he’s working at a higher level than most of his contemporaries from the start, playing with layered ideologies, unusual narrative structure, and ever-changing formal elements with all the ease and enjoyment of a child in a sandbox. It’s the kind of high-concept drama that most of the time results in a short-lived, misunderstood cult classic. Still, with compelling performances and an uncompromising point of view, he deserves to make his way through audiences in a big way. Call it revenge for twelve seasons of Two and a half Men.