At this point, it seems like sitcoms have explored every possible avenue and have become so full of over-the-top tropes that they just aren’t as successful in a TV genre as they once were. There haven’t been many sitcoms in recent years that have reached heights of popularity that show like Friends Where how I Met Your Mother did. Many people have called attention to the harmful tropes that are often repeated on these shows, and many criticize the very idea of a laugh track, stating that it makes a joke less funny when the show has to tell the audience when to laugh.
One of the tropes that is often overdone in shows, especially ones like Kevin can wait, is the immature, child-like husband and responsible but clingy wife, who must be sensible and put up with all his antics. This allows the male character (who is usually the protagonist) to be the fun, goofy character loved by the audience, while the female comes off as some kind of nag and has no character traits aside from being married to this man. There is one show, however, that takes this trope and really shows how harmful it is, and instead tries to look at the world through a woman’s perspective. Kevin can fuck himself is a clever and inventive take on a sitcom, and makes a lot of interesting commentary on gender and patriarchy in general.
Kevin can fuck himself follows Allison McRoberts (played by Annie Murphy of Schitt’s Creek fame), who is a woman trying to figure out her life while married to Kevin, who is the epitome of that aforementioned rude and lazy sitcom husband. The show divides its time between two different perspectives: when Allison is with Kevin, the show is a sitcom, with the multi-camera setup, the laugh track, and simple, brilliant visuals, but every time it isn’t isn’t there and the show follows Allison’s. inner life, it’s shot in a way that’s much more reminiscent of a typical TV drama.
The stark contrast between scenes, where it will be a sitcom for a while, then shift to a very different visual and tonal style the second Kevin leaves the room, is such a shocking change at first that it really hammers home the way Allison is treated in situation comedy. For Kevin, she’s the party girl who’s never okay with the crazy plans he concocts with her dumb best friend Neil, but when she’s shown alone, it’s clear Allison feels trapped in this marriage. where she is never appreciated or noticed. The show follows Allison trying to reinvent her life and figure out how to get ahead and find fulfillment, but it gets harder and harder with Kevin’s interference.
The show is really smart about showing Allison as a whole person trying to develop deep relationships outside of her marriage. It makes a very clear commentary on how the women in sitcoms, especially the wife characters, are often very two-dimensional and are just there to play the “straight man” to the madness of the main male character. They can be the butt of the joke or be seen as the stick in the mud who never wants to have fun, and it’s such a thankless role that’s kind of endured in sitcoms over the years, despite how difficult it is. and its downright boring. Annie Murphy gives a stellar performance as Allison, bringing plenty of nuance to the character while making her feel real and relatable.
Instead of her just being a secondary character who pops up every once in a while in Kevin’s story, the show is all about Allison and, in general, how women often lose a part of themselves. when they marry, because they are just seen. as “the woman”. She develops a friendship with Patty, another character who appears in sitcom scenes and is initially just there to make mocking comments to men, while also being a “tomboy” character who is allowed to participate in their fun. unlike Allison. Female friendships aren’t often seen in sitcoms like this because the focus is on men and women simply become objects of desire, which is why it’s so refreshing to see this show invest in such things. real relationships between women. The show takes such an interesting approach to these tropes and plays with them in a really clever way.
Kevin can fuck himself is funny in scenes outside of the sitcom, but it’s also dark at times, which is a fascinating combination of tones. It shouldn’t work that well, but somehow the writing balances seriousness and humor perfectly. The writing is tight and the series takes on so many interesting twists that you wouldn’t expect it. Well worth a watch for its inventive take on sitcoms, and even people who don’t like the genre can get something out of this show and its commentary. The first season has already aired and AMC has confirmed that the show has been renewed for a second season, which will be its last. This show has proven that messing with over-the-top tropes can lead to really great commentary, and being critical of the genre doesn’t mean it can’t be fun too.
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