February 13, 2015 at 11:52 am #341510
The first trailer for The Comedians, an FX comedy starring Billy Crystal as an experienced, over the hill comedian who is paired with a younger, fresher comedian, played by Josh Gad
I personally think it looks excellent, and while it may not be strong enough to win Best Comedy Series, it can definitely save us from five-time Emmy winner Jim Parsons.February 13, 2015 at 11:57 am #341512
Mel Brooks has also been confirmed to be a guest star on the show as himself, and could possibly break the record of most wins for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. That record is currently held by…Mel Brooks.February 13, 2015 at 3:35 pm #341513
FYC- Not Jim Parsons
Looks great! Gad and Crystal look great!
Give Paul Thomas Anderson an Oscar.March 13, 2015 at 11:47 am #341514
I just got through with the Pilot and if it’s any indication as to how the rest of the season will be then I’m pretty confident saying that if any show tops “Modern Family” this year, this will be it. It’s incredibly smart and funny. Really funny. It’s a Christopher Guest kind of “30 Rock” style show – if that makes sense. Billy Crystal could submit the Pilot and win, he’s excellent. Josh Gad is fine but Stephanie Weir is the real supporting player that had me laughing. I have the entire season in my hands and I really want to watch more but I’m trying to hold back to enjoy it along with everyone else.
FX told us they were very high on this show and now I see why. Emmy should eat it up.Riley (the normal one, not the one who won the predictions contest)ParticipantMarch 13, 2015 at 5:28 pm #341516
Why do you want it to flop?March 13, 2015 at 5:31 pm #341517
Maybe I’ll be completely wrong (I hope I am), but I have not liked any of the promotional tv spots I have seen for this. It’s made me want to avoid it. I haven’t seen the actual trailer yet, so maybe I should. I’m willing to give it a shot, but I am not anticipating this one (also, Josh Gad works my nerves something fierce when he isn’t playing an animated snowman).March 13, 2015 at 6:33 pm #341518
I have watched the first four episodes and LOVING this show.
The first two episodes are very good, but everything doesn’t quite gel together for me. The third is outstanding and one of the funniest episodes I have seen in forever. The fourth is close to that level of quality (and featuring two EGOT winners!).March 13, 2015 at 7:09 pm #341519
I believe it’s Mel Brooks and Whoopi Goldberg!March 14, 2015 at 12:05 pm #341520
I’m starting to think if anything is going to beat Modern Family it’s this. I can’t wait for this show.March 14, 2015 at 2:57 pm #341521
I have watched the first four episodes and LOVING this show.
The first two episodes are very good, but everything doesn’t quite gel together for me. The third is outstanding and one of the funniest episodes I have seen in forever. The fourth is close to that level of quality (and featuring two EGOT winners!).
ANTICIPATION LEVELS RISING. I hope it can make a big emmys impact!March 15, 2015 at 7:43 pm #341522
I have now watched the nine episodes they sent me and still really laugh-out-loud enjoying it. I will say that a couple of the latter ones were not up to par with several of the others.
The section of episodes 3-4-5 was my favorite overall. Unless something better comes along, Billy Crystal should consider #3 and Josh Gad #5. I don’t want to give too much away until everybody has a chance to watch.
Beware that I have only seen one other opinion online, and that Hollywood Reporter reviewer didn’t like it at all. I have never heard of him before, so who knows?
By the way, the EGOT guess above about Brooks and Goldberg is incorrect. I will not give away which two are in that episode, though.Riley (the normal one, not the one who won the predictions contest)ParticipantMarch 15, 2015 at 8:18 pm #341523
Metacritic has 450 films reviews of his, but only one for television (a documentary).
A mockumentary almost as lame as the ill-conceived skit-comedy show whose creation it purports to depict, The Comedians offers Billy Crystal and Josh Gad
as a comic team thrown together by producers who couldn’t care less if
they have chemistry so long as they hit the right demographic targets.
One wonders how close satire is to truth here, as this unlikely pair
slogs through backstage conflict with little apparent help from director
and exec-producer Larry Charles. These three names will draw some attention to the FX series, a remake of the Swedish series Ulveson & Herngren, but based on the two episodes shown at SXSW, that attention may be short-lived.
The premise is that Crystal (playing himself, as is Gad) is developing a one-man skit show called Billy & Billy. We see one bit he’s already shot—a godawful riff on When Harry Met Sally‘s fake-orgasm scene in which he plays himself, Meg Ryan,
and the “I’ll have what she’s having” lady—before learning that
producers are passing. Or rather, they’re just recasting the second
“Billy,” suggesting that Crystal should do the show with Gad, whom he
has never met.
In the actors’ first encounter, Crystal tries to be open while Gad
drops landmine-like pseudo-compliments, as when he says “my grandparents
were excited” to learn he’d be working with the older comedian. The
cringe-com vibe is overfamiliar and unpromising but comes briefly to
life when the two find a joke they can toss back and forth between them,
each adding something until Gad drops it with a thud. The pilot goes
downhill once the two get to work on the show-within-a-show, finding
time for multiple irritable-bowel jokes and a badly dated transsexual
The second episode here, “Red Carpet”, centers on the kind of
petty showbiz competitiveness that would have brought down the house if
it played out between Jenna Maroney and Tracy Jordan on 30 Rock.
Suffice to say that it doesn’t here. The episode’s centerpiece is a
dull stretch in which Crystal tries to handle Gad’s young-person-grade
pot, and the two raid a supermarket after getting the munchies.
That dullness is preferable, though, to the three projectile-vomit gags in the episode’s juvenile Anthony Bourdain parody. At least nine episodes of The Comedians
are in the can, and if the title of one (“Orange You the New Black
Guy”) is any indication, it doesn’t get more highbrow from here.Riley (the normal one, not the one who won the predictions contest)ParticipantMarch 24, 2015 at 9:40 am #341524
I have seen all nine episodes that they sent to the press now. I was ready to dismiss it early on as a non-entity for critics and awards, but I am less sure now because this show really got better as it went along. The Hollywood Reporter might have a different opinion when they publish their review in the next few weeks that also accounts for seven more episodes than the one above. A comedy has growing pains—what a surprise, right?
They try to force an antagonistic relationship between Billy Crystal and Josh Gad, but I think that they realized after a few episodes that things can still be fun with them more amiable. Crystal is initially portrayed meaner as well. The first few episodes fail the Bechdel test pretty harshly, as the primary female character is reduced to making a fool of herself because of an old flame. The show is also weirdly trans-insensitive early on. On the one hand, that there is a trans character seems forward-thinking. On the other, when that character is introduced, the scene is portrayed as awkward and humorous, but there are no jokes; the existence of trans people is supposed to be a punchline inherently. Finally, the show is interspersed with clips from the show-within-a-show that are really lame.
But! It all gets better. The show still technically fails Bechdel, but the primary female character gets other storylines and becomes a fun side presence. The dynamic between Crystal and Gad becomes more watchable. Even the show-within-a-show delivers laughs. The last episode of the nine that I got might even be the best episode. I doubt that this ever becomes my favourite comedy on the air, but is it one of the seven best? Sure, I would be fine with a nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series.
I feel like I had not really seen it reported that this show is a mockumentary when I started. Unless I missed a line in the pilot or something, the eighth episode is the first that they explain that it is because they are filming a documentary about Billy Crystal’s return to television. You hardly ever see the cameramen, but the characters are always aware of them. There are not really any talking heads. Characters sometimes talk to the camera alone, but it seems more like the filmmmaker just pulled them aside on their way somewhere as opposed to sitting them down specifically to reflect, like in Modern Family and The Office.
The Comedians is kind of FX’s answer to Episodes, but it is funnier and more realistic. I do not see this as a critics’ show. They might be turned off early on and this is not an edgy show like Silicon Valley, Louie, et cetera. I am reminded of the critics’ dismissal last year of The Crazy Ones, which also starred a comedy legend past his heyday and was actually very decent. The Comedians also wants to have it both ways with the mockumentary format, but also lowbrow humour complete with a laugh track in the show-within-a-show clips.
I cannot tell if this is an Emmy show. I will stay conservative for now and continue to predict zero nominations, largely because that is a good way to approach anything new on FX. If he is nominated, Crystal has no chance at a win because his performance is so low-key. I am not sure what he would submit. Gad is a lead, with I estimate nearly equal screen time to Crystal. The show-within-a-show is even called “The Billy and Josh Show”. Billy is named first, but that comes with his fame; we all expect both names in Grace and Frankie to submit lead. Gad’s tape is the fifth episode “Go for Gad” in which he tries to learn how to cry for a Scorsese audition. Denis O’Hare is credited as a guest star, but it seems like he has the kind of role where he is billed in guest, but then appears in every episode. However, this turns out not to be the case, as he disappears from like five consecutive episodes, so he is still eligible for now (might not be by the end of the season). His prominence early on as the FX president may help him to a nomination. Another possible nomination is Mel Brooks as the eponymous character in the fourth episode, titled “Celebrity Guest”. Larry Charles directed like seven of the nine episodes that I got.
Pictures of the box to come! Unless they decide to air the last two episodes together, the season finale will not be eligible at the Emmys this year because the season is airing so late.Riley (the normal one, not the one who won the predictions contest)ParticipantApril 9, 2015 at 2:04 am #341525
My review is above.
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