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Former SNL actor redeems himself in new Netflix sketch-comedy show

Lara Solanki/Netflix
Nicolas Padovani | Wikimedia Commons

When Tim Robinson was demoted from cast member to staff writer on Saturday Night Live, his career appeared to have been stalled. Lorne Michaels, practically a savant at identifying comedic talent, was publicly telling both Robinson and the world that his talents were better served behind the scenes than actually on camera.

After several failed projects for Fox and Comedy Central, Robinson was looking for one more chance to prove himself to the public.  After pitching an extremely unusual sketch comedy series to Netflix, the streaming service apparently saw talent in Robinson. They decided to green-light his show, and thank heavens for that.

The debut of I Think You Should Leave has thus far been met with critical acclaim and for good reason. The seven episodes are each fifteen minutes long, meaning they can—and should—be watched in one sitting.

Each sketch is sillier and more absurd than the last, often taking wild twists midway and becoming so outlandish that it’s impossible not to laugh.

Robinson and his myriad of special guest stars, ranging from SNL alumni to other television actors, will leave viewers in tears with their portrayals of truly nonsensical characters.

Perhaps the greatest trick the show manages to pull off is its timelessness. While I Think You Should Leave will certainly not be for everyone, it does manage to touch on humor that excludes many of the overused topics that today’s comedians can’t seem to get away from. There are no jokes about politics, race, gender, religion or subjects that have been beaten to death.

The laughs instead are derived from situations that are completely farcical in the best way. It’s impossible to predict where a sketch will go, often landing miles away from its original starting point.

It’s worth repeating, however, that this show is not for all audiences. Robinson’s humor is so out there that some viewers will be completely turned off by his ridiculousness, while others will be roaring in laughter every time he says the word “mudpie.”

The ironic brilliance of the show is in its stupidity. The circumstances are often completely lacking any context or reason, resulting in many of the seemingly normal characters in a sketch being just as bizarre as the punchline character. 

While the more intellectual crowd will scoff at its blatant appeals to off-center comedy, everyone who finds humor in the freakishly eccentric will want to binge watch the entire series in a day.

It’s difficult to describe this show for those who haven’t seen it and even more dangerous to try to explain one of the sketches without sounding completely insane. I Think You Should Leave can best be summed up as what would happen if Portlandia and Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! had a baby that only ate sugar.

The entire show is an all-over-the-place spectacle that can only be watched to be semi-understood, then watched again and again until season two comes out.

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