(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The Series: I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson
Where You Can Stream It: Netflix
The Pitch: Former Saturday Night Live featured player and Comedy Central’s Detroiters creator and co-star Tim Robinson teams up with fellow SNL writer and his Detroiters co-creator Zack Kanin to deliver a series of offbeat comedy sketches mostly featuring characters that need to desperately leave, would be wise to leave, or are being implored to leave a variety of awkward, confrontational and goofy situations.
Why It’s Essential Viewing: Saturday Night Live is still largely considered the gold standard for sketch comedy, even if you always hear someone saying that the current cast isn’t as funny as the previous generation, which has happened with every new roster of players since the beginning of the show. But that doesn’t mean SNL is the only place to find great sketch comedy. In fact, sometimes the style of the series doesn’t lend itself well to certain comedians’ sensibilities. Such is the case with Tim Robinson. But that’s not always a bad thing.
During his single-season tenure as a featured player of Saturday Night Live, Tim Robinson appeared in a handful of memorable sketches but never really found firm footing as a cast member. But what you might not know is that Robinson stayed on the show as a writer for another three years afterwards. That’s because he’s truly a great sketch comedy writer, and I Think You Should Leave shows the comedy of Tim Robinson at its absolute best.
I Think You Should Leave basically feels like a collection of pre-recorded “10-to-1” sketches from SNL, the kind of weird sketches that were put in the timeslot that was typically 10 minutes left until the show ended at 1:00 A.M., around the time people started tuning out. These sketches are typically much weirder and riskier than the rest of the SNL sketch line-up, and when they land, the payoff can be massive. And most of the sketches in I Think You Should Leave are gut-bustingly hilarious.
Tim Robinson is a master at overdoing it, but in a truly commendable and hilarious fashion. Whether it’s peak awkwardness, unnecessary rage, being severely inconvenienced by something trivial, unconvincingly trying to avoid being blamed for driving a car through a shop front, or getting wildly specific about legal advice, Robinson proves to be a master sketch comedian with a unique comedic perspective. But he’s not the only one who gets to have fun.
Ruben Rabasa became a meme after upending an automobile focus group on the show, Will Forte plays a totally sane man trying to get revenge on a baby-turned-grown-man who ruined a vacation flight for him decades ago, and Vanessa Bayer doesn’t know how to playfully insult her brunch friends. There are plenty of other guests too, including multiple appearances by Detroiters co-star Sam Richardson (Veep), as well as guest spots from Tim Heidecker, Cecily Strong, Steven Yeun, Fred Willard, and Andy Samberg, who is also counted as one of executive producers of the show along with The Lonely Island crew Akiva Shaffer and Jorma Taccone.
Aside from I Think You Should Leave being painfully funny, each of the six episodes in the show’s first seasons are all under 20 minutes long, making this a nice breezy binge you can watch in between the much more longer form programming available on Netflix. This is the kind of show that would be most fun with a group of friends, but it works just as well from the comforts of our quarantined homes. Just get all your friends to watch it independently and then FaceTime each other.
The post The Quarantine Stream: ‘I Think You Should Leave’ Proves Tim Robinson Doesn’t Need ‘SNL’ to Make Sketch Comedy Gold appeared first on /Film.