Saturday, August 8, 2015

Pilot Review: Difficult People

Difficult People (Hulu)
Premiered August 5

I haven’t watched any series on Hulu before, not for any deliberate reason, and I saw this show advertised and thought it might be worth a watch. While it’s not the best show I’ve seen, it was definitely worth a watch, if only to see how comedians Julie Klausner, who I’m not familiar with, and Billy Eichner, who I enjoyed a lot in his recurring role on “Parks and Recreation,” cast themselves as people who just can’t be bothered much with caring about other people. I like the fact that they’re both budding comics, fictional versions of their real selves, and that it’s tied in to the storyline and framework of each episode. I liked the plot of the first episode that involved a woman with young children sitting in front of them at a play who ended up being married to the man they tried to pitch bottled library water to and then left after mocking his children’s absurd names. I’m not as attached to the character of Julie’s mother, especially with her attempt at hypnosis, but she’s incorporated pretty well into the show. There are times where the envelope gets pushed a bit much, not to the point of offensive or inappropriate humor but rather to putting Julie and Billy in uncomfortable situations that are near impossible to get through because of the extent of the awkwardness. I’m willing to tune in to this show once a week for a few weeks to see if it improves, but I think this is the kind of show that’s smart enough to be able to reel me and other viewers in.

How will it work as a series? Airing two episodes the first week was probably a smart bet since it presents the opportunity to discover what an average episode is like, a confirmation that the first episode is actually a pretty solid indicator in itself. Julie and Billy are going to have big career goals, but the gist of the show is going to be them inserting themselves into unfortunate moments and trying to talk or yell their ways out of them, which should be pretty fun.
How long will it last? Hulu has achieved moderate success with its original shows but hasn’t yet really launched one strong out of the gate, falling way behind Amazon and Netflix. This show probably won’t be the one to break through, but I see no reason why Hulu wouldn’t want to keep this pretty strongly-reviewed adult comedy around.

Pilot grade: B-