Published Jun 30, 2016Exclaim! is reviewing every standup comedy special currently available on Netflix Canada, including this one. You can find a complete list of reviews so far here.
Shane Mauss's 2013 special Mating Season starts off like a fairly typical standup show, and a few quips on shitty jobs, bestiality and racism go a long way in the hands of the Mauss's dapper, peculiarly sedated delivery. His history in blue collar work has always been fertile ground for Mauss, and his bit on the benefits of Mexican immigration is among the best jokes about the popular topic in recent years. About seven minutes into Mating Season, the special becomes — inevitably for those who are familiar with his work — a trip through dating, sex and the facts of life through the lens of an aspiring evolutionary theorist.
Mauss's unique blend of dick jokes and Darwinism have been a constant for at least the past four years of his career. His ability to plumb the depths of the reproductive prerogative for laughs seems to know no bounds. The overarching appeal of Mating Season is his fearless indulgence in topics that no other comedian would touch. Whether you're interested in Mauss's unusually scientific touchstones or not, his sincerity and honesty is unavoidable.
It's also clear he's not willing to pander to his audience. Mating Season is an hour-long diatribe on what Shane thinks is interesting. He'll try to hook you in with some of the more accessible observational jokes he has at the beginning, but that's about as far as his pandering goes. If you're not into evolutionary humour, Mauss is not going to make any concerted effort to tug you along.
Mating Season does at times comes across as a work in progress. It lacks a bit of the continuity of his more recent material. While very funny, it serves as a bit of a workshop precursor to his more recent album My Big Break. The special works best when centred around Mauss's more personal experiences. The science-based material does have its moments of grandeur, but this special still has kinks to work out.
Mating Season is well worth the hour even if it's a little wobbly at points. Shane Mauss's delivery is always brilliant, even if on this particular special the jokes don't always make a three-point landing.