TV Recap: The Comedians, Series Premiere

Written by Marley Ghizzone

Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels/FX
Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels/FX

The Comedians Plot Summary:

This mockumentary follows Josh Gad and Billy Crystal behind the scenes of their new FX original sketch comedy, The Billy and Josh Show.

The Comedians’ first episode was riddled with uncertainty. The theme was a hesitant maybe. It begins with an introduction to the original show Crystal pitched to FX. At the meeting the executives are not saying no, but they are not saying yes. The idea is pitched to bring in Josh Gad, and Crystal is immediately against it. Until he his told his show won’t get picked up without him.

The Comedians
Photo Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FX

When Gad is introduced he is completely unsure of how to respond to anything. His first reaction to being cast with Crystal is “When I found out I was going to be working with Billy Crystal, no one was more excited than my grandparents.” There are a few more takes of him trying to amend his statement and failing miserably.

The uncertainty works for, instead of against, the show. The mockumentary style allows for a slower paced story. The camera becomes another character and carries some of the action. I love the mockumentary style.

But, Billy Crystal is filled with old man jokes. He is a classic dad joke mill, pumping out shudder-worthy one-liners at any opportunity. It is petrifying. This show could be a knockout hit, but anytime Crystal was on screen I cringed heavily. I think that is technically the point but it isn’t hitting the mark.

Contrastingly, Josh Gad was hilarious. His time on screen was a balance between subtle humor and wildly graphic “humor.” The delivery of his lines was perfect. I may be biased because I am a huge fan of Josh Gad, but I think he did a great job.

Photo Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FX
Photo Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FX

The best part of the entire show, though, was when Kristen (Stephanie Weir) practiced a conversation with herself in the car. The mockumentary style came into play again, filming over another car into her window. It was a short scene, but provided the most laughs.

Just as Crystal and Gad were uncertain to work with one another, I am uncertain about the longevity and humor of The Comedians. It has potential and this first episode wasn’t without a few chuckles, but I was not blown away.

Rating: 3 out of 10

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Marley Ghizzone is the current music editor and former Breaking News Editor for The Pop Break. Aside from writing news, Marley reviews television shows and the odd film. Pop culture is her drug of choice and her talents include binge watching entire seasons of TV shows obsessively fast and crying over fictional characters. Marley is a graduate of Rowan University. Follow her on twitter: @marleyveee