TV: Nick Kroll: nice guy, bad show

By Meryl Gottlieb|| @buzzlightmeryl
Kroll Show airs Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. on Comedy Central


The series premiere of Kroll Show has been long in the making. Filmed in April 2011, the premiere was stalled due to Nick Kroll’s role as Ruxin on the FX comedy The League, but it finally aired last night after the anticipated season premiere of Workaholics.

The Kroll Show follows a format I understand and admire. As a sketch comedy show, it parodies the ridiculousness of our current pop culture and satirizes it; despite a reasonable initial idea, The Kroll Show only makes us realize how foolish our pop culture is because it is displayed in an even more idiotic and unamusing way.

I sat in agony as I watched the premiere, only enjoying one sketch: “PubLIZity,” a satirical look at reality television one would find on Bravo.

I can see the potential of this show and maybe it is simply following a trend that tends to happen in comedy: awful pilots. The satire is in full gear but the jokes need polishing and more bite.

After speaking with Kroll on a phone press conference call, I have higher hopes for upcoming episodes.

“My goal is to create a show that has a lot of different worlds in it: sports, music, reality television, politics,” Kroll said. “It’s like if someone were at a buffet and chose bacon today and then granola tomorrow. Hopefully there will be something everyone will like.”

He also plans on doing something most other comedy shows don’t: continuing characters and storylines throughout episodes and seasons. A character in the “PubLIZity,” Dr. Armond, a plastic surgeon for dogs, will have his own spin-off, which in turn will spark other spin-offs.

While Armond was not my favorite character from the “PubLIZity” sketch – Jenny Slate’s Liz holds that honor – I am interested in seeing how this will pan out.

Kroll has decided to go on a not-so-average route with his show. Oftentimes, comedy sketches specifically call out their target, Kim Kardashian or Snooki for instance. Kroll, however, plans on sticking to a more general satirical format.

Another fresh aspect of Kroll’s comedy is the extent, or lack thereof, to which he will go.

“Nothing is ever off limits,” he said. “But there are certain kinds of jokes I am not interested in making unless there’s a really funny, solid reason for it. I’m not interested in the shock factor for shock sake.”

I’ll give the show two more chances until I make my final verdict, but as much as I would like to enjoy the show – because Nick Kroll is a really nice guy – I do not foresee my initial comments changing that much.


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