Wednesday 22 May 2013
The Greatest Event in Television History
Filed under Reviews
[This is a blog post about a thing on Adult Swim few people may even know anything about. Just as a warning: you might not care about what follows.]
It’s an Eggersian title, TGEiTH, and similarly steeped in irony. Not necessarily cloaked in it. To get everyone excited about a thing that in the end wasn’t exciting whatever TGEiTH entailed was cloaked instead in secrecy. Turns out it was a 15-minute highly ironized behind-the-scenes documentary about Adam Scott and John Hamm filming a shot-for-shot remake of the Simon & Simon opening credits.
I’m 35 and if I’d ever heard of this show I’ve never seen so much as a clip of it.
I don’t get it. I guess the idea for Adult Swim (out of whose key demographic I’m days away from falling) was that the mustaches and period costumes would be enough for the kids to laugh at. And maybe if I were in my 40s like Scott, Hamm, et al., I’d be able to watch and go like “Oh yeah, that’s totally how that opening went” in my head. Then I laugh from the delight of recognition?
What’s not interesting: this is all such dull easy 90′s-style irony. What might be: this 90′s-style irony is charged in TGEiTH by our post-millennial-style celebrity worship. A shot-for-shot remake of a 1970′s TV show’s opening credit sequence is not inherently funny. Not any more than the sequence itself is, campily, through the lens of 30+ years of developing TV sensibilities. But such a remake starring the guy who plays, on basic cable, a tall alcoholic child in the 1950s who looks all right in suits? Not yet, but it helps.
There’s a kind of cool-kid clubbiness to TGEiTH. It’s like watching the hammy team captain get laughs during the spring musical because everyone knows him outside his costume. Cameos by Megan Mullally, Pauls Scheer and Rudd help. What I’m saying is I think most of the allure of this thing is in watching cool, good-looking, A-list funny people hang out and be silly together. It’s not a gross desire per se, but there is something gross in “Also Starring MEGAN MULLALLY” serving as a joke.
Right? Maybe I’m just down on people playing themselves playing other people for laughs. Maybe I’m just confused that such winking self-reference can still find a loving audience. No way would TGEiTH exist without its star power, and now Adam Scott’s doing another one in a few weeks, co-starring Amy Poehler.
What’ll it be this time? Scarecrow and Mrs. King?
2013-05-22 :: dave