Monday, April 25, 2016

Reviews Difficult People

Difficult People
Difficult People
While not without its flaws, Difficult People is easily the greatest thing Hulu has ever done, and one of the best shows available. In the vein of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia by way of Will and Grace, Difficult People is an anti-rom-com buddy comedy with Tourette's. Julie and Billy continually try to make it as comedians and actors... and writers, and restaurateurs, and bottled water manufacturers, ad infinitum. Unfortunately, their mutual, caustic outlook and toxic personalities stalemate them at every turn.

The dialogue is crisp, smart, and actually laugh-out-loud funny, but the structure leaves a lot to be desired. The episodes seem to have been written for the stage, and the three-act story structure used in most episodes is too apparent. There's no mistaking it for a sit-com, so tying-up every episode in such neat, and usually ironic, little bows is unnecessary. The editing choices are also questionable, forcing weight onto scenes that could easily be carried by the actors or dialogue alone.

In its favor, any episode can be viewed as a stand-alone show -- you learn everything you need to know about the characters, and they suffer no show-altering consequences from their antics -- but it isn't for everyone. Difficult People is intentionally offensive on a "Trigger Warning" level (for college students), and it sometimes leans on this. Some may argue that its vulgarity is used as a gimmick in this time of extreme PC culture, but I disagree. If anything, Difficult People sometimes overlooks the actors' strengths by relying on such fantastic dialogue, but it serves the characters. A strength of the show, its obscenity is no gimmick.

My favorite new TV show of 2015, Difficult People will make you laugh out loud -- but only if you aren't easily-offended.

© The Weirding, 2016

1 comment:

C Harris Lynn said...

I was late reviewing this, and rescheduled it to run prior to the new season -- that's why it concludes with last year's date.