These impressions contain spoilers for the first episode of ‘Crashing’ Season One.
Crashing is a comedy helmed by comedian Pete Holmes about, um, starting out as a comedian. He plays an alternate version of himself. Like, more Christian. It’s another Judd Apatow joint so expect it to feel a little like Girls or Apatow’s array of films about immature grownups.
Holmes used to have The Pete Holmes Show on TBS. Never seen it myself, but it looks like a your typical late night show with the occasional sketch. This is his first time making a sitcom.
Like Seinfeld, Louie, and all those shows like it, Crashing is about Holmes trying to do stand-up it in the Big Apple. Unlike the former shows it seems the comedy club bits in Crashing will be more linked in to the story rather than simply conveying the themes of the episode. Oh and he also breaks up with his wife who cheats on him (based on the breakdown of his actual marriage – awkward much?).
To be honest I’m kind of over faux stand-up on TV. I love comedy shows & comedy specials but seeing it adapted for TV and the whole having a comedian trying to make it is just not that interesting to me. It’s been done. I’d rather have some other premise. Like, how about a show about a bar where everyone knows your name? There, you can have that one for free. Oh, that’s been done too? Forget I said anything.
That being said, Pete Holmes is cool. Well, my version of cool, is a nerdy dork, so maybe I’ll change up my definition a little. Pete Holmes is a total nerd. I like his self deprecating comedy. His character in the show is him just trying to be a good person, to a fault. And things really go to shit for him in this first episode. He’s Christian (his real-life views are more open) and rather than turn to the bottle and self destruct he’s cautiously optimistic. Endearing, but so annoying you want to shake him. That is the Apatow way.
The most interesting thing about Crashing is his relationship with comedian Artie Lange, also playing a version of himself. T.J Miller and Sarah Silverman are supposed to show up at some point but aren’t in the Pilot. Artie and Pete are polar opposites of each other. Peter is more strait-laced but Artie has been subject to a few controversies in his time (in real life) including coke benders. You can see their different approaches to life immediately in the subway mugging scene when Artie teases the mugger and makes a run for it, where Pete hands over all his possessions, but refuses his joke notebook and gets cut for his trouble.
Early in the episode he catches his wife, Lauren Lapkus, with another man – a kind of surfer-type hippy dude – he’s an art teacher so go figure. He’s stolen his wife but is likeable, a little annoying, but not someone you can hate, and the show plays this up. I’m not sure how they’re going to fit into the show now that they’ve broken up but I’m happy for the show to surprise me.
Verdict: It’s… fine, I guess. There are some things to like here, but you may be over the Apatowness of it all. Despite being about yet another stand-up comic I’ll keep watching.
Where to watch: HBO