2 August 2007 | Sheldonshells
Some funny moments but doesn't convince me
Too much unconvincing hype for this often unconvincingly "groundbreaking" show. It seems like a set of spasmodically rabid fans have too hurriedly coughed out chimerical accolades in something like a prescripted attempt to revere something, anything, but that just isn't worth revering.
Truly, the show is capable of evoking laughter from time to time, such as from the hip hop dance instructor in the gold jump suit's seeming preoccupation with people's dads, and from some good recurring characters such as Dr. Steve Brule and the Skylars. But this quasi-critic doesn't really buy the notion that this show is "actually incredibly complex", you know, despite seeming simplistic and rag-tag on the surface. While it is true that watching scenes over again a few more times one may pick up a few things that one didn't see or realize before, but this does not qualify as "incredibly complex". If many comedy fans accept this as incredibly complex, then they have accepted a very low standard of "excellence" in comedy. I think we deserve, and can in fact get, much better than this.
Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job is just the latest among a long line of po-mo comedy shows compared to Monty Python's Flying Circus (I still think the show the came the closest to Monty Python's excellence is Kids in the Hall, which Tim and Eric can't hold a candle too), and if you've seen all that's come since then, or have a good knowledge of absurdist comedy of all types extending back to the Goons in the1950s/60s, then Tim and Eric become a lot less great, unfortunately for you fans (check out Frank Zappa's albums, for instance, if you like Tim and Eric's surreal humour). It's nonsequiter, absurdist, and surreal nature is at this point actually getting played out. If it is at all new terrain in sketch comedy, the possible innovation would seem to me to be a kind of traumatic element to some of the bits that isn't really comedic at all (unless very darkly comedic). That's the most interesting thing I find about Tim and Eric (beyond the somewhat unusual name of the show). Then again, Wonder Showzen contains that element too, but the styles of comedy in the two shows were both conceived around the same time, I'm guessing. I sense that Tim and Eric might be attempting an evolution in conceptual comedy (think Tom Green or Andy Kaufman). They don't quite succeed in doing this, but they don't exactly fail either.
I'm sometimes forced to wonder if people can tell what is actually trail blazing these days. Whatever is, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job just doesn't seem to fit-for the most part, anyway. And too many ringing accolades from fans too eager for the next big thing doesn't convince me. Just be patient and don't just pelter into a misinformed consensus by a few that has somehow established it as the next big thing. But one can tell this show makes some efforts and attempts to be different. And again, there are some truly funny moments.