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‘Tim and Eric’ bring comedic genius

| Tuesday, September 30, 2014

TimandEric_WEBEMILY DANAHER | The Observer
For years, comedy duo Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, known simply as Tim and Eric, have been filling Adult Swim’s programming with bizarre hilarity. Heidecker and Wareheim’s signature zany anthology programs are likely to both completely confuse you and make you laugh uncomfortably hard. If you have yet to see something from the duo’s “Tim and Eric, Awesome Show, Great Job!” I would highly recommend it.

By abandoning almost all comedic precepts practiced today, Tim and Eric have pioneered a new and unusual art form. Satire, anti-humor, comedic timing and kitsch editing have all become major tools for Tim and Eric in crafting their oddball yet refreshing humor. However, as the beginning of the duo’s new Adult Swim series, “Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories” premiers, style shifts have become a pivotal topic of focus.

Only two episodes into the new series, it has already become evident “Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories” is not simply a spin off of previous work. With a much more linear story line in the 15-minute running time and production quality to boot, loyal Tim and Eric fans will be in for a pleasant surprise. By taking the comedic style of “Tim and Eric, Awesome Show, Great Job!” and dropping it on their version of the “Twilight Zone,” Tim and Eric have produced a new show equal parts amusing and creepy. The duality inherent in the new show is refreshing — one minute you are laughing and the next, you can’t stop cringing.

The season premiere, entitled “Holes,” focuses on the story of the Murphy family and their move the quintessential American cul-de-sac. The father of the family, played by Wareheim, begins being terrorized by the wacky neighbor, played by Heidecker, when the father misses the weekly cul-de-sac game night. Capitalizing on classic horror-story staples, “Holes” sheds some light on just how creepy we can expect the rest of the series to be, yet also secures that much of the duo’s comedy will not be lost. The short story ends with the father reluctantly giving in to his persistent neighbor, allowing himself to be buried alive as his new neighbor commandeers his beloved family. The underlying theme of the “trapped” nature of suburban life coupled with the bizarre humor intrinsic with Tim and Eric, provides yet another duality that brightens up the show.

Guest starring Bob Odenkirk, with an appearance from “Community’s” Gillian Jacobs, the series’ second episode “Toes” was very impressive. Bob Odenkirk portrays the shady “Dr. Stork,” a toe-removing surgeon with a dark secret. Gory and disturbing yet tastefully done, “Toes” contrasts heavily with the first episode, as neither Tim nor Eric have a role in the episode. Again though, the episode is not just nonsense for 15 minutes; instead, there is a powerful takeaway. Society’s idea of beauty is satarized throughout the episode, epitomized with Dr. Stork’s son innocently asking “Dad, if we don’t need our toes, why are we born with them?” “Toes” highlights the flexibility Tim and Eric will have this season in crafting their episodes, toying with different actors and visual effects throughout.

There is never telling what is to come from Tim and Eric, but almost all possibilities are promising. By straying away from their normal, unadulterated madcap comedy and moving towards a more refined and complex series, Tim and Eric production capabilities will certainly be put to the test. Though if the first two episodes are any indication, the duo is more then ready to take on such an endeavor, and as seasoned fan, I could not be anymore excited for the rest of the season.


About Adam Ramos

Adam is studying international economics in the class of 2018. He hails from beautiful New Jersey and says "draw" instead of "drawer."

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