- Deleted scenes and outtakes
- Creator commentary
- Preproduction notes
Comedian Demetri Martin does a good job of translating his dry, one-liner-heavy stand-up style to TV in this clever series. Martin smartly mixes his stand-up routines, delivered in front of a studio audience, with sketches, so that he isn’t forced to completely change his style to fit into a TV show. The stand-up bits sometimes feel insubstantial and thrown together, possibly because, as the commentary reveals, they were often written right before Martin went onstage. But the best of them effectively utilize Martin’s propensity for charts, graphs and illustrations, making him the rare comedian who uses props but isn’t a dreaded “prop comedian.”
The sketches are certainly more fleshed out, although not all of them work. But when they do, they’re often hilarious: Martin takes classroom subjects like ancient philosophers, Leonardo Da Vinci and the founding fathers and uses them as fodder for silly explorations of literalism and sexual relationships. Characters like the time-traveling gigolo and the emotional escape artist offer absurd twists on common bits of pop culture. And then there’s Martin and frequent guest star Jon Benjamin getting into an argument over a parking spot that goes beyond its breaking point and back again.
The deleted scenes and outtakes range from useless to inspired (an excised sketch about a cult leader who ditches his followers for an old crush is as good as anything that made it to the show), and the commentaries are informative, if dry. A look at preproduction flow charts shows the meticulous planning that goes into crafting the show’s comedy.
The Bottom Line
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