As comedies go, HBO has really cornered the market. Comedian Pete Holmes has created a semi-autobiographical show, Crashing, about his life as a stand up comedian going through a divorce. The Judd Apatow produced series concluded Sunday night and the shows first season is well worth watching. It is funny and earnest all the while never feeling repetitive.
The biggest thing with comedies is the need for fresh material. With an overload of comedians who seemingly repeat the same dirty jokes, a topic which the show subtlety covers, Crashing has the ability to seem less than fresh. It works in large part due to Holmes’s ability to be awkward and very funny at the same time.
After his wife cheats on him with a fellow teacher, Pete couch hops from one couch to the next. But they’re not just any one’s couches. There are lots of comedian cameos from Artie Lange to Sarah Silverman. Pete goes through the ups and downs of being a struggling comedian in New York City. He does five minute acts for which he pays the club, hands out fliers just to get time in at a comedy club no one goes to.
The show plays with the idea that Pete is funny, but he never puts everything together. His constant interactions with Artie Lange are often hilarious and the show plays to Artie’s real life addictive personality.
But the show is more than just Pete Holmes dealing with famous comedians. The show has heart, and in its first season Pete grapples with hatred for his wife Jess (played by Lauren Lapkus) while still maybe having some regret or responsibility for the decay of his marriage. Anybody with a dream can empathize with Pete and his wife’s lack of support. Yet the smart thing about the show is its ability to play to both sides. Comedy is funniest when it’s relatable.
Crashing has potential to follow Pete to the top all the while dealing with his personal relationships. The one thing that Crashing has done with its first season is establish that it can go for a while. Every comedian has his own voice and Pete Holmes certainly has a unique one that lends to Crashing being an extremely funny and relatable new comedy for HBO.
Best Episode: Episode 6, “Warm-Up”
Worst Episode: Episode 2, “The Road”
Season Score: 9.0
Consensus: Pete Holmes has created a new comedy for HBO with hilarious moments and heart that offers a unique perspective on life and serves up relatable comedy to boot.