Published Nov 13, 2015Among the most striking things about the return of Bob Odenkirk, David Cross, and the rest of their Mr. Show with Bob and David co-conspirators for this four-episode Netflix season, is just how much their brand of sketch has been missed. Their aforementioned HBO show only lasted three years, but as Marc Maron has often mentioned on WTF, the show is something of a benchmark for alt-comedy.
In their wake, yes, Chappelle's Show, Key & Peele, and Inside Amy Schumer have all taken the form to bold, interesting, and cleverly subversive places (just as SNL can't seem to shake its prolonged "transitional phase" with its current cast). But there's something singular about the rage and edge that Odenkirk and Cross conjure together (with clear shades of Monty Python and The Kids in the Hall in the mix) that makes their interconnected and fully realized episodes so vibrant and dynamic.
For one thing, no one seems to relish the profane the way this crew does. There's a ridiculous but amazing sketch involving the awkwardness of saying something terrible about someone (let's say it's the worst insult one can attribute to a woman) who's standing right behind you that takes a brilliant and unexpected turn. Who else would turn a "Good Cop, Bad Cop" skit into an exploration of the sensitive space between the two? And within a few short films and personality type explorations (the Broadway show sketch is stunning), the hard satire within reveals something kind of twisted about all of us.
Virtually everyone in this cavalcade, which includes Paul F. Tompkins, Scott Aukerman, Dino Stamatopoulos, and Brian Posehn among others, has gone on to do something substantial in comedy. But W/ Bob and David gets the band back together for something greater than the sum of its parts. It's only four flawless, ingenious episodes but the world needs so much more. (Netflix)