TV Review: Garfunkel and Oates, Series Premiere

garfunkel and oates poster

I didn’t know what to expect from Garfunkel and Oates the TV show. Starring the band of the same name, Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci basically play versions of themselves in a sitcom version of their lives. Similar to Flight of the Concords (because they’re a band) and Broad City (because they’re two female best friends playing themselves in something based off of something they created for the internet), Garfunkel and Oates stars two women you’ve seen before on what is technically called a shit ton of TV shows, but probably don’t know by name. Particularly, Micucci (winner of the best/worst last name award, which I just created and gave out this very moment) has been on many quirky comedies in the past few years including The Big Bang Theory, Scrubs and Raising Hope.

Photo Credit: Kyle Christy/IFC
Photo Credit: Kyle Christy/IFC

I was pleasantly surprised to find a solid comedy pilot full of new ideas and genuinely funny jokes. In the first episode, Lindhome and Micucci bump into their male friend who is with a new girlfriend. They ask her question upon question but instead of responding she merely gestures, and their male friend occasionally responds for her. They walk away from this encounter wondering if the “Little Mermaid” effect is what men really want – a quiet woman.

To put this theory to the test, the two stars who coincidentally have a blind double date that evening, decide neither of them will talk for the entirety of their date.

I will not tell you what happens next, because you should definitely watch it. But I will tell you that the results are unexpected, smart, and absolutely hilarious.

Micucci and Lindhome are both great, which was expected. I’ve always enjoyed both of them. The one place the pilot suffers is it’s choice of song – a lame anthem about not liking sports. I’ve enjoyed many of their other comedic musical stylings in the past, and I expected the series to start off with a classic Garfunkel and Oates tune or a new one to really wow us. The transition into the song is very random and quirky, which fits perfectly with the band’s persona and worked very well to set up a style for future episode.

Photo Credit: Darren Michaels, SMPSP / IFC
Photo Credit: Darren Michaels, SMPSP / IFC

My other criticism is that no other regular characters seemed to be introduced in the pilot. It’s possible a show can thrive with just two main characters if very well written, but I suspect they will need to introduce some solid side characters in order to keep things interesting in the episodes to come.

But overall, if the pilot is any example of what’s to come, this show is going to be hilarious and different. Based off the pilot, I would recommend Garfunkel and Oates to anyone whose anyone. And their mother.

Garfunkel and Oates premieres tonight on IFC at 10pm.

Marla Pachter is a comedic writer, obsessed with all things television. She doesn’t discriminate against TV shows, which either results in pleasant surprise or an eviscerating review for your reading pleasure. Marla loves Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine Nine, and she will probably be watching new seasons of Grey’s Anatomy until she’s 90. Sometimes she writes TV shows herself, but they don’t air on television. She also likes big butts and she cannot lie. (That was a lie). @MarlaPachter