Showing posts from 2024

Comedy (Adjacent) Spotlight: The Curse

Photo :  Richard Foreman Jr./A24/Paramount+ with SHOWTIME When thinking about The Curse , I oscillate between categorizing it as a comedy vs. categorizing it as a drama. Neither category truly seems to fit. Its idiosyncratic, strange and funny nature makes for a less than comfortable fit in the drama category, yet its deeper and darker themes leave it hanging only part-way over the comedy category. With its not-quite-right fit in either, it is something that I would define as a “comedy adjacent” show – that being a show with a lot of comedic elements (oftentimes with the involvement of comedic actors, writers, directors), but that doesn’t fit as easily into the comedy genre. The line that this show walks – not too heavy to be a drama, yet not too overtly funny to be an out-and-out comedy – is maybe the key to why I find it so engaging. Its tone is a dryly surreal one, balancing the authentic with the heightened to once again not fit quite comfortably in either camp. Some characters are

Cross-Pollination in the Comedy World

Photo: Fernando Trabanco FotografĂ­a via Getty Images In today's divided world, and when looking at a vision of a more unified comedy world, one should acknowledge that the comedy world has never truly been unified. Even prior to the ultra-divisiveness of today, the comedy world has always had its divisions, based on philosophical/practical approaches or even just geographic/ethnic differences. A key division line has been that of the more artistic vs. the more practical approach. Unlike other types of self-expression, there is a very A+B=C aspect to comedy (that being the end result being a laugh/positive response). The practical approach plays to this as a functional approach: “How do I make this audience laugh?”. The more artistic approach examines the self-expression a little more intently, seeking originality within that framework (and sometimes eschewing the framework entirely to varying degrees of success): “How do I stay true to my uniqueness while still making an audience l

Comedy Spotlight: Limmy's Show

  Photograph: BBC Limmy’s Show is unique in that it comes from a context that I am less aware of. Other movies or shows can be contextualized from certain familiar comedy scenes (i.e. the world of Saturday Night Live , Upright Citizens Brigade, the Judd Apatow comedy universe). Limmy’s Show is a sketch show that comes out of the Scottish comedy world, and the creator’s alternative comedy world within that world, making it very unique to me. However, that makes the fact that I connect with it all the more satisfying. Part of the uniqueness of this show comes from its European-ness – and more specifically, its Scottishness. Just as Monty Python connects me with a British sensibility and Flight of the Conchords connects me with a New Zealand sensibility, this show connects with a Scottish sensibility. The show is filmed in Scottish locations, has a lot of its sketches occurring in what look like authentic pubs, and a lot of the characters played on the show seem to be Scottish archetype