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  • KEVIN CAN F*** HIMSELF: My review

    After watching a few episodes on AMC...

    First, let me give them props. The bad sitcom scenes are dead on. Unlike WANDAVISION where their recreations of old sitcoms was woeful, KEVIN CAN **** HIMSELF (it’s easier than typing *** all the time), has it down. Everything is pitch perfect, from casting (Eric Peterson is fantastic as Kevin) to the dopey storylines, over-the-top unfunny supporting players, rhythms and specific jokes, sets and bright lighting, and the obtrusive laugh track. Creator Valerie Armstrong either really knows the form or surrounded herself with people who do. But the result is an A+ representation of fifteen of those man-child and wet blanket wife idiotic multi-cam sitcoms.

    Okay, that’s the good news.

    The show then changes tone and gets very dark and dramatic whenever Annie Murphy’s character (Allison) steps out of the sitcom. It’s an intriguing idea, and the show pivots back and forth between the two styles, but…

    I'm sorry but I don’t get it.

    The sitcom scenes are obviously stylized and heightened, but are they some sort of representation of real? We’re supposed to have great empathy for her, but we’re not seeing her really abused, we’re seeing her imagined version of abuse. Unless the sitcom is reality and the dark world is her imagination. In that case, who cares because they’re all essentially cartoon characters?

    My big question: Why the sitcom? Other than a knockout-punch takedown of the genre, what is the value of being stuck in a bad sitcom vs. just a bad marriage? Why not imagine Edward Albee’s masterful play and call it VIRGINIA CAN **** HERSELF?

    Another issue: One feature of these horrible family sitcoms is that the schlubby husband is married to an attractive woman way out of his league. What about this oaf was so appealing that this woman, who could get anybody, chose to go with him? Not looks, not charm, not money, not the way he treats her. But since these sitcoms are so unrealistic anyway, the pairing is somewhat accepted. However, if we’re saying this is a real life marriage, then why was she attracted to this crass jerk in the first place? And why is she still in the marriage ten years later?

    Why can’t she just divorce him? They conveniently have no kids. As I understand it, the series steers in the direction of Allison wanting to murder Kevin. That’s pretty drastic. Just being the butt of sitcom jokes doesn’t seem enough justification to me. No one is beating her like Tanya Harding.

    Now as the series unfolds all of these questions may be answered. But is it worth sticking it out to see? As great as the sitcom segments are, it’s one joke, and by episode two the device was starting to feel tiresome.

    Although the format is unique, the subject matter isn’t. If you ever get a chance, see a movie called DIARY OF A MAD HOUSEWIFE. It shows a woman trapped in a horrible marriage but you’re able to track every moment. And by the end of the movie, the audience wants to kill the husband. In the case of KEVIN CAN **** HIMSELF, at the worst, the audience just wants to see his show cancelled.