Written by Dylan Brandsema
Comedy sketch shows are a hard thing to get right, especially on prime time cable, but since it’s back premiere in 2013, Amy Schumer’s take on the medium, Inside Amy Schumer (often shortened as simply “Inside Amy”), has been one of the better ones to come out of Comedy Central in recent years. After it’s previous 2 seasons, Amy Schumer has become one of the hottest comedians current on the scene, and she’s only getting bigger. Unfortunately, superstar status does nothing to help this ultimately lackluster 3rd season premiere.
Season 3 of Inside Amy Schumer gets off to a weak start – it begins with the rap song/video “Milk Milk Lemonade” that we’ve seen on all the promos. The song is funny in its own right, but we’ve seen it already – Comedy Central released the entire video online roughly a week ago, and they’ve aired it in its entirely multiple as a promo ad. Even the funniest skits can become tiresome if you milk it too many times, and that’s unfortunately what occurs here. The street interviews (a staple of the show’s format) that followed, in which Amy asked random citizens if they prefer ass or boobs, didn’t add much to episode’s intro either.
Gladly, this blunder is followed by the episode’s funniest sketch – a brilliant Friday Night Lights parody, “Friday Town Nights,” in which a high school football coach informs his team of a new rule: “No raping.” The team flips out, and the remainder of the skit consists of of the player imposing scenarios on the coach in which raping might be okay. An obvious commentary on modern “rape culture,” Amy Schumer tackles the notoriously controversial genre of rape jokes perfectly, and this was definitely the highlight of the episode. Hilarious and thought-provoking.
Sadly, that’s pretty much where the laughs stop for this third season premiere. The following two skits are absolutely awful, and painfully unfunny. One of which consisting of Amy having a picnic with Patricia Arquette, Tina Fey, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus talking about the “fuckability” of actresses in Hollywood. The other a parody birth control ad. Both of these sketches were cringe-worthy, so much so that sometimes it was difficult to tell where the jokes were even supposed to be. For a show like this, that’s a gigantic misstep.
The stand-up portions of the episode also fell flat, running way too short, and not containing enough major punch lines (Schumer is a great stand-up comic, and her act is much better than what’s on display here).
There is one other positive element that came from this episode however, and that was the interview portion of the show, “Amy Goes Deep.” For this installment, she sat down with transgender pornstar Bailey Jay to talk about her personal life, transgender-ness, and how it affects her day to day. This section of the episode wasn’t very comedic, but it was rather insightful. Schumer is a great interview – she speaks candidly, and these segments usually feel more like casual conversations than a questionnaire, which is how any great interview should be. Frankly, “Amy Goes Deep” could probably be it’s own show. I know I’d sure as hell watch.
With any episode of Inside Amy, or any variety sketch show for that matter, the quality of the episodes is reliant on the funniness of the skits contained within it, and here, it’s a bit of an unbalanced scale. Two of the three post-intro sketches were terrible, the stand-up portions were weak, but the highlights of the episode, the football sketch and the interview, made the episode worthwhile. It’s very possible that Inside Amy’s format is finally catching up to itself and biting itself in the ass — trying to squeeze such a large array of things into a very short 22-minute run time. The show doesn’t need to undergo any major changes, but maybe just trim the hedges.
Overall rating: 5/10
Inside Amy Schumer airs Tuesday nights on Comedy Central.