When I saw this series on Netflix, I thought I had never watched an episode before. As it turns out, I had watched one of them, maybe one-and-a-half.
It is most likely that it was on my television screen and I was doing something else while it was on, but the feeling of deja vu was strong as I watched the episodes “Ass Cubes” and “Goddess Party.” Since I believe no credible evidence for the existence of psychic abilities is out there, I must have seen at least portions of these episodes a couple of years ago. Just enough to create a fuzzy engram maybe, but not enough to actually form an opinion of the show.
I have an opinion now.
If you’ve read any of my reviews of new shows, you probably think I’m an easy touch. I’ll admit that I try to find things to like about most series. In fact, with a few exceptions (like American Woman, for instance), I choose to not write about the shows I don’t like. So, you’ve been spared quite a few bad reviews just because I hate devoting time and energy writing about things that have disappointed me. I suppose that means I’m not a true critic. You’re welcome.
Andrea Savage, the creator and star of this series, was a familiar face to me. I have seen her in many things I can’t name right now. Right off the bat, it was refreshing to see a comedian in her forties starring in a sitcom she created. The first couple of episodes of I’m Sorry give Savage sole writing credit (as well as episode 1.7 “Divorce Fantasy”), so I’m comfortable in assuming that we’re actually getting her perspective in these stories. I don’t know that any of the events of this season happened “in real life,” but they feel organic and mostly plausible. The things that turn out to be funny aren’t always the low-hanging fruit, either, which is also nice.
Ms. Savage may not be breaking any new ground in the show format. The show could easily be compared to the comedy-vérité found in shows like Louie and, especially, Curb Your Enthusiasm. In fact, I’m Sorry reminds me of the Larry David vehicle more than anything else, especially in how it explores the uncomfortable moments. However, Savage, as comedy writer Andrea Warren, is not Larry David, and the uncomfortable and awkward moments usually have some sort of resolution, whereas on Curb they might be allowed to linger and fester. Also, Savage is infinitely more likeable than Larry David.
Tom Everett Scott, as Andrea’s show husband Mike Warren, is an example of perfect casting. He is the show’s perpetual straight man with the funny wife, although he manages to be pleasant and funny in his own subtle way instead of a stiff shirt. The supporting cast is equally amazing. Kathy Baker and Martin Mull as Andrea’s divorced parents. Jason Mantzoukas (who I recognized from Transparent) as Andrea’s writing partner. Judy Greer (who I’ve loved in everything she’s been in: from Archer to FX’s Married, and numerous movies) as one of Andrea’s close friends, along with Gary Anthony Williams (a standout performer on Boston Legal when he was probably 100 pounds heavier). I could continue: the casting on this series is that good.
Let’s talk about the subject matter of the show now.
This is a mature-oriented series. You don’t want to watch this with your children or your parents. You may not want to watch it yourself if you’re very conservative or easily offended. This is a TruTV series, not a premium cable show, and I was surprised at the adult content.
But, little of it is gratuitous. Without a doubt, it’s funny. And deliciously twisted.
Season 1 Report Card: A
Okay, maybe I am an easy touch.