Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

This is review is about a month late. I wanted to talk about it after 4 episodes and for some reason I didn’t.

Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! is the second show for Adult Swim from Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim (the first being Tom Goes To The Mayor). Like the debuting-at-the-same-time Saul of The Molemen, it marks a change in direction for Adult Swim in that it’s predominantly live action (though some of the little animation in TAEASGJ! is actually better than TGTTM – namely the Gibbons cartoon that is glimpsed in episode 2). Now you can argue that a channel called Cartoon Network shouldn’t be showing live action shows, and I would agree with you, but at the same time on it’s own merits I’ve enjoyed TAEASGJ!

Essentially TAEASGJ! is a sketch show. It pulls together various Heidecker and Wareheim ideas from TGTTM and their internet work like the Channel 5 Married News Team, Uncle Muscles Hour, Cinco products, prank phone calls and an obsession with hands in food. And then adds a bunch of new stuff.

It took me a while to decide whether I liked the show as a whole as there is a somewhat hit and miss quality to the show. I think the good outweighs the indifferent overall, though it is interesting to note that often the guest performers seem to get more out of the material than Tim and Eric themselves. John C. Reilly as the recurring character Dr Steve Brule is especially good. Another thing I liked about it is that less familiar guests are often allowed to bring their own schtick to the show – Maria Bamford’s appearance in episode 7 and particularly Neil Hamburger in episode 9 are good examples of this.

The show has already been commissioned for another 30 episodes, and my main concern is that there may be a little too much recurring material. While there is a distinct feel of breaking from the sketch show norm that has elicited comparison with Monty Python, Python didn’t really rely of recurring gags or characters to the extent TAEASGJ! has already done in just 90 minutes of material. You can still get a good sketch show with recuring elements, but I think the truly great shows attack with fresh ideas each episode.