Kevin Can F**k Himself: Living the Dream & New Tricks
June 22, 2021 9:59 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Follows the story of Allison McRoberts (Annie Murphy), a woman we believed we knew: the prototypical Sitcom Wife. She's beautiful and can take a joke (though she's usually the butt of them). And she's married to a guy who must've won some sort of marriage lottery, because she looks the way she does and he's...funny. But what happens when we follow Allison out of her husband's domain? When she finally wakes up to (and revolts against) the injustices in her life? Kevin Can F**k Himself breaks television convention and blends multi-camera comedy with single-camera realism to make us ask, "Who and what have we been laughing at all of these years?" Includes the AMC season premiere of episodes 1 and 2.

S101: Kevin throws his annual "Anniversa-rager" party with help from Patty, Neil, and Pete. After Patty reveals the truth about her bank accounts, Allison goes on a bender and makes a decision to take back control of her life.

S102: On Belichick Hoodie Day, Kevin feuds with the neighbors over a stolen package. Meanwhile, witnessing an overdose gives Allison an idea, and following a mysterious business card leads her to Patty's Salon in town.
posted by kitten kaboodle (27 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I’m enjoying this but it’s a tough watch. The single-camera bits obviously borrow heavily from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul but those had/have more helpful levity. every time it snaps back to bleak you really feel the grit in the floorboards and the cobwebs in the corners of the room. Using the same (or very similar?) sets is a neat trick, getting to see the fourth wall hidden in the sitcom scenes.

Again, enjoying, but I’m looking forward to this getting more fun (please). the sitcom scenes are way more depressing than the single-camera. Can’t wait for Kevin to show up in single-camera; entering her world will be like Hot Priest looking at the camera in Fleabag.
posted by supercres at 10:16 AM on June 23, 2021 [1 favorite]

I’m loath to quote from Reason, but this resonates: It's a ghoulishly brutal, stunningly creative, and utterly Pyrrhic send-up of blue-collar domestic sitcoms, way too effective to be entertaining.
posted by supercres at 10:20 AM on June 23, 2021 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I'm really interested to see where it goes, but I think I was expecting, after seeing it described as a dramedy about a sitcom, I was not quite expecting the bleakness of it. That shot where it goes from her standing in the middle of their empty living room, holding the leash, in the sitcom world and then she's standing in the same way in the single-camera world was like a punch in the throat, man.

But I've also never watched the sitcoms it's dragging, either, like the Kevin show and Everyone Loves Raymond or whatever it was. I know they were unbelievably shitty to the hot wives of terrible shlubs, but I was kind of wondering if they were really that shitty--I can totally see myself rooting for her to kill him, and I was kind of hoping the stab-him-in-the-throat scene would turn out to be real. It looks like they have episode 3 up on the AMC streaming site, but I have to admit I think I'd prefer to take this one a week at a time through my regular TV, to spread out the misery.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 3:12 PM on June 23, 2021 [1 favorite]

I haven't actually watched the series, but I feel the need to inform people that the Worcester Public Library system has, in a very polite but very firm and above all very librarianly manner, objected to their depiction in the show.
posted by firechicago at 4:50 PM on June 23, 2021 [14 favorites]

I am loving this. Nobody ever told me that as soon as I turn 38 every tv show would be catered to me specifically.
posted by bleep at 5:08 PM on June 23, 2021 [6 favorites]

I haven't actually watched the series, but I feel the need to inform people that the Worcester Public Library system has, in a very polite but very firm and above all very librarianly manner, objected to their depiction in the show.
While I appreciate the link, this refers to something that happens in episode 2, and this is the episode 1 thread.
posted by bleep at 5:09 PM on June 23, 2021

If I had to wait a week before the second episode, I'd have abandoned this show.

This shit is dark. Infuriating, too.

It was around the midpoint of the second ep where I decided to give the third a try.

episode 1 thread

That's ambiguous, given the [more inside].
posted by porpoise at 9:10 PM on June 23, 2021

Do we think we're supposed to view the cuts to the single-camera format as reflective of the actual reality of the situation? Or are they as much a commentary on grimmy grim prestige dramas as the multi-camera stuff are a commentary on sitcoms?
posted by Justinian at 9:29 PM on June 23, 2021 [2 favorites]

Yeah, unfortunately AMC presented it as one premiere episode without clear indication that it was 1 and 2, and there was no way to select that for the thread. I’d hoped my note that it was including both of the first two would be clear, but I might have missed the mark—sorry for the confusion. It’s kind of irritating when they do this but I was trying to go by the network airings. (They’re doing something similar with Masterpiece’s new show Us and it’s frustrating.)
posted by kitten kaboodle at 9:35 PM on June 23, 2021

"While I appreciate the link, this refers to something that happens in episode 2, and this is the episode 1 thread."

Nope. The third paragraph on this page is a summary of episode 2.
posted by jonathanhughes at 6:04 AM on June 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

OK well if this is going to be one of those shows where all we talk about is how much we hate it it doesn't matter what thread is what.
posted by bleep at 9:33 AM on June 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

That's, uh... not my read on the comments here? Certainly not my feelings. Bleak/tough watch ≠ bad. The sitcom side of it, presented alone, wouldn't be worth the watch, but the combo is creative and interesting. TBD whether it'll have something interesting to say beyond the clever concept.

I'm looking forward to discussing more (I've watched through E3, but makes total sense to hold off until the airdate), and hearing others' thoughts.
posted by supercres at 1:34 PM on June 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

I'm just really surprised people think it's bleak, I think it's hilarious (on purpose), and I'm disappointed I'm not going to have anyone to talk about it with.
posted by bleep at 1:55 PM on June 24, 2021 [2 favorites]

I didn't think it was as bleak as some others did, although I don't know if I would call it hilarious, either, but I do see the dark humor in it. I mean she wants to live this other version of her life so badly that she made cookies for a drug dealer! It was as if she was going over to her neighbor in her dream suburb for a chat, rather than looking for someone to buy oxy from. It definitely has me wanting to see where it goes. I also think it is interesting that this is the second show this year using a sitcom framing for a show about a woman in an emotional crisis (with WandaVision being the other one).
posted by Sabby at 3:10 PM on June 24, 2021

I found the first episode quite bleak. I think I assumed something different from the trailers. By the second one I had re-calibrated my expectations. By the third one I was hooked. It's a great show.
posted by Omon Ra at 6:18 PM on June 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

Fanfare: all we talk about is how much we hate it
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 6:48 PM on June 24, 2021 [4 favorites]

Loving the show so far, really enjoy the split between cornball King of Queens shit and the Black Comedy side of things. They're already building up the bleak-side characters and stories, the rube-goldberg disaster of Allison trying-to-get-murder-drugs/revenge on autoshop guy is already building up and excited to see where that leads. I have high hopes for this season but I think as a concept it'll be best if it ends in one season. Stopped watching Breaking Bad season 2 when it became clear they were going to drag it out forever, like Weeds, which is what happened imo from reading the rest of BB events + Better Call Saul + El Camino. I guess in a way I'm hoping the show isn't too popular since they'll keep making more and I think this could be a stellar one-off if it ends with her killing Kevin, or at the very least divorce (absolutely would prefer murder for this particular show).
posted by GoblinHoney at 11:13 AM on June 25, 2021

In the unfortunate instances when I had to watch something like Everybody Loves Raymond I was absolutely rooting for the wife to go on a killing spree.
posted by emjaybee at 3:57 PM on June 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

help i am way too invested in this show having a happy ending for allison and patty.

also, i am very confused about what the relationships are in this show, am i supposed to just know? is patty married to neil? is the old guy kevin's dad? if so, does he live with them?
posted by Cozybee at 11:21 AM on June 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

I too found this much darker than the way the trailers and promos presented themselves. I thought it was going to be more King of Queens interleaved with Malcom in the Middle than King of Queens interleaved with Blue Valentine.

The saddest part is that it seems clear that sitcom bits are Allison’s own lies to herself about how her life is going—she wants it to be funny and harmless and consequence-free living with Kevin, but it has just gotten so bad that she can’t maintain it. It was a little weird that she jumped straight to murder, but less weird when you realize her grip on reality is so tenuous.

The most impressive part is that the sitcom parts very much seem like clips from a fully written and filmed episode written in accordance with sitcom rules. It would have been easy to make those parts “sitcommy” in isolation, but each episode goes through an actual sitcom plot, with the expected sitcom story beats. It’s an extra level of craftsmanship that they could have gotten away with eschewing, and I respect that.

I look forward to watching more, and I hope the discussion continues here!
posted by ejs at 6:05 PM on June 28, 2021 [4 favorites]

Because I am a terrible parent, my young daughter wandered over and started watching this with me and is now a little obsessed, checking every day whether the new episode has come out. She understands TV is scripted and watching it get subverted this way has just blown her mind. I tried the first episode because of my deep affection for Alexis Rose, and by the end was just grinning ear to ear, it's gorgeously bleak and funny. I know the husband will not be seen 'off-camera' for at least most of the episodes, and I really really want to see what the other two male side-kicks will be like 'off-camera' - how will. their shallowness as sitcom characters spin into drama/reality? The other woman feels already real, and frustrated even in the sitcom scenes. And the way the plots work straight through is such a balancing act - sitcom shenanigans that crack into brutal despair and then pick up just as another episode twist.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 7:43 PM on June 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

I don't think the sitcom bits are Allison lying to herself. I think they're Kevin's pov (because as soon as he enters a scene its a sitcom and if he exits or the scene moves away from him it's not).
posted by Cozybee at 8:50 PM on June 28, 2021 [6 favorites]

I also think it is interesting that this is the second show this year using a sitcom framing for a show about a woman in an emotional crisis (with WandaVision being the other one)

Ah interesting, I had described it to someone as being kind of like WandaVision if WandaVision wasn't entirely committed to the bit.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:56 PM on June 28, 2021

is patty married to neil? is the old guy kevin's dad? if so, does he live with them?

It's mentioned quickly in episode one that Patty and Neil are brother and sister. The old guy is indeed Kevin's father, and he claims to be a defrocked priest and that Kevin's mother was a former nun that he seduced. These are both quick throwaway lines wrapped around other jokes inside the sitcom world, so bear that in mind, I guess? It all might be different in the single-camera universe.
posted by seasparrow at 12:07 AM on June 29, 2021

I'm so glad this is here. I'm loving it so far and at first the "sitcom mode" device tripped me the fuck out!
posted by rhizome at 2:31 PM on July 5, 2021

My favorite small detail during the cafe dream sequence in ep02 - the book she's reading is 'Ulysses' by 'Joyce Something'.
posted by FatherDagon at 7:23 AM on July 10, 2021 [5 favorites]

How far into this does one need to get through before it clicks? We managed to get, roughly, twenty minutes in and just couldn’t take it anymore.

The “sitcom” sections were predictably annoying and by-the-book, and the “real” sections were ominous but never went anywhere. And, the constant pendulum swinging back-and-forth just made it unwatchable/unendurable.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:35 PM on August 24, 2022

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