Premiered February 19 at 10:30pm
HBO is an enormously successful network that has produced a number of hit comedies. A few years ago, some of its best shows were axed to make way for the likes of “Girls” and “Veep,” both of which turned out to be huge. Now, with both of those shows well into their runs, HBO is using them as launching pads for new fare. Lately, a popular comedian or an established talent who previously headlined a series has served as the anchor. The former is true for this show, though I don’t have any familiarity with Pete Holmes. I’m actually very distracted watching him since he bears a striking resemblance to Ike Barinholtz, an actor I found mostly annoying but sometimes funny on “The Mindy Project” back when I used to watch it, and I kept picturing him and expecting him to sound the same every time he spoke. I’m also not too familiar with Artie Lange, and therefore pairing the two together doesn’t do much for me. I’m much more excited about seeing Lauren Lapkus in a regular TV role after watching her on “Orange is the New Black,” and her two brief scenes in this pilot were the highlight of it for me. This reminds me in a way of “Enlightened,” a show that set itself up as chronicling someone going through a huge breakdown and then turned into something completely different. I’m not optimistic, but maybe it can follow that model. I might be willing to give it another shot.
How will it work as a series? I’m not sure where it’s headed and whether Pete is just going to move on with his life and not go back to try to be with Jess after encountering Leif the last time, and I suspect that Artie will lead him on plenty of misadventures along the way. It could be appealing, but I’m not all that enticed.
How long will it last? Reviews for this show look pretty good, and it did well in comparison to other shows on the network that launched recently without a major star or buzz. I don’t know that I see this one being all that enduring, but HBO may be up for investing in it for at least a little bit.