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Big Time in Hollywood, FL focuses on story and characters

Big Time in Hollywood, FL focuses on story and characters

Big Time in Hollywood FL

Big Time in Hollywood, FL
Created by Alex Anfanger and Dan Schimpf
Airs Wednesdays at 10:30 pm ET on Comedy Central, starting March 25

Over the years, Comedy Central has brought a number of comedians to the small screen with their own show, whether it’s Amy Schumer, Nick Kroll, or Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. The latest duo to join that company is Dan Schimpf and Alex Anfanger, the team behind the webseries Next Time on Lonny. Their new show, Big Time in Hollywood, Fl, premieres tonight on Comedy Central, and the pilot promises an offbeat show that unexpectedly follows through on storylines while not forcing their main characters to be likeable.

The central concept of Big Time in Hollywood, FL revolves around a delusional brotherly duo who barely work, choosing instead to spend their time making short videos that they’re sure will land them their big filmmaking break. But it’s when the duo are evicted by their parents, in whose garage they make their videos, that the story really begins. Where the pilot really succeeds is in its commitment to the premise. Rather than simply use it as a loose framework to introduce the characters, the show delves into its premise with both feet, taking the story of the duo trying to get money from their parents to absurd lengths in a plausible manner. This is a strong aspect of the episode, as the story travels quite a bit in the pilot itself. If the series can maintain this momentum, it’ll become one of the few heavily serialised half-hour shows on television, as the status quo established near the beginning of the pilot already gets upended by the end.

Which is not to say that the acting on the show is poor. Quite the opposite, in fact, as the performances help sell the story as it delves into more bizarre territory. Anfanger and Lenny Jacobson are both game for the challenges thrown their way, and display a level of chemistry with each other that makes them highly believable as brothers who have always enabled each others’ hare-brained schemes. Kathy Baker and Stephen Tobolowsky continue to prove their comedic chops as the parents of the duo, presenting two different personalities while not coming off so divergent that their marriage is questionable. The only weak link the cast presents is Jon Bass’ Del. The performer feels somewhat out of place with the main cast, and the character himself is given very little to do, outside of react to others. Del isn’t given enough characteristics to be a comedic straight man, and not enough comedy to fit in with others, and hopefully the character is fleshed out more, otherwise he stands the risk of being the only sore spot among the performers.

Overall, the series displays a fair amount of promise. A major guest star’s appearance in the pilot turns out to be much more than just a gimmick, which is hopefully not an anomaly for the season. The writers indicate no hesitation in making Jack and Ben unsympathetic characters, and the show greatly benefits from this a result, as their off-putting behaviour is openly acknowledged, most hilariously in a restaurant scene where the background reactions of the patrons adds to the comedic effect. If the series chooses to keep building on the story it presents in the pilot, while giving the cast the opportunity to show their comedic talent and work off each other, then it has the potential to be one of the more enjoyable new series of the television season.

– Deepayan Sengupta