...Mulaney knows enough to feature a ringer or two, beginning with
Martin Short, who plays his loopy comedian and game-show-host boss, Lou
Cannon. Short is a tremendous physical comedian, and he can sell the
gags that Mulaney can’t quite pull off. Thankfully, the show makes great
use of Short’s talents. Not only does he careen around the set, he has
ingenious comic timing. Cannon tells Mulaney that he likes “fast setups
and slow punch-lines,” which seems to apply to Short himself, though
there are times when his fast setups are followed by rapid-fire
Not every character is so well served by the material. Mulaney and
Motif’s third roommate, Jane (Nasim Pedrad), is especially problematic.
Though Pedrad doesn’t sound like a stand-up, Jane is obviously
underdeveloped, and thrown into subplots that focus on typical—if not
offensive—female storylines and stereotypes...The offense only gets worse when you realize that she’s the only one
of the three roommates who, after the first few episodes, doesn’t have a
clear profession. (Motif and Mulaney are both, predictably, comedians.)
She’s another female character on TV who’s defined by her relationships
with men, whether it’s her platonic friendship with Mulaney or her
train-wreck romances. If Mulaney really seeks to emulate Seinfeld, it should seek to turn Jane into as vibrant and singular a character as Elaine Benes...
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