Crashing (2017)

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Air Date:  Sunday, February 19, 2017  
Studio: HBO
Genre: Television
Rating: Crashing is rated TV-14This program is specifically designed to be viewed by adults and therefore may be unsuitable for children under 17.


Synopsis

Pete Holmes created and stars in this comedy series about a stand-up comic who learns that his wife is unfaithful, forcing him to reevaluate his life and make a move to the New York City comedy scene. Executive produced by Holmes and Judd Apatow and loosely inspired by Holmes' personal life, the show finds aspiring comic Pete thrown into the deep end of a city that's not for the faint of heart--and where this formerly sheltered guy learns some hard lessons about life and comedy. Guest stars on the series include Lauren Lapkus, Artie Lange and Sarah Silverman.

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Crashing: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review


Look up the definition of the word crashing online and you come up with several options... Merriam-Webster defines it as utter, absolute while The Urban dictionary describes it as either coming down from a drug high or attending an event that is not publicized or that one has not invited to.  It can also mean staying with friends unexpectedly usually sleeping on their couch.  For the HBO show Crashing it can use any or all of these definitions.  Loosely based on show creator and star Pete Holmes' (Fantasy Hospital) life, the show details the bumpy path of the life of a stand-up comic.

Pete lives in the suburbs with his school teacher wife, Jess (Lauren Lapkus; Jurassic World) who supports them while he tried to hone his craft as a comedian.  However, one day he comes home to find her having sex with one of her coworkers.  She tells him she wants a divorce and he suddenly finds himself homeless.  With nowhere to go, he ends up on various individuals couches for a time, including Artie Lange (The Howard Stern Show), TJ Miller (Deadpool), Hannibal Buress (Neighbors), Sarah Silverman (Wreck-It Ralph) and other fellow struggling comedians.  

Pete works open mic nights for no money (often having to pay for the opportunity to tell bad jokes to a lackluster and minimal audience).  Meanwhile, his world is falling apart as Jess decides to move to Florida and has a garage sale selling all of Pete's belongings.  Pete also gets his car towed and gets mugged and has his cell phone stolen.  He works on his comedy, getting a little better each time while getting advice from big named comedians (mentioned above) and his own mom.

Holmes plays the loser perfectly but having been raised in the church he is always kind and sweet and annoyingly apologetic (except when he gets angry with Jess's boyfriend who is annoyingly "kumbaya" himself).  Lapkus is very good as the fed up wife who has had enough but, frankly, turns into kind of an unfeeling bitch at times.   The guest appearances are generally fun and enjoyable and its great to watch Pete get advice from former struggling comedians like him.

The Blu-ray is the standard 1080p high definition video quality with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. While the outdoor scenes are beautifully colorful and bright the interiors, especially in the comedy clubs, are a little grainy and dark.  However, I'm sure that was done on purpose as to make them seem as gritty and dirty as they are in real life.  The DTS-HD master audio 5.1 is well done and clear.  The side and rear channels are used artfully in the comedy clubs to offer the feel of a rich and full experience.

The two-disc set has a number of extras.  Disc one has a "Guest Star Fan Club" that features Artie Lange, T.J. Miller and Hanibal Buress.  There are also snippets of T.J. Miller and Pete and Apurna.  Disc two offers more including "Guest Star Fan Club" with Sarah Silverman, a two-minute synopsis About Crashing, The Art of Crashing summing up the life of a struggling comedian and an hour long live performance Pete Holmes: Faces and Sounds proving he is funnier than his character in the show.

The writing is pretty good and flows nicely.  With a few episodes directed by Judd Apatow (Trainwreck), there is also a feel of gawky realism that makes the audience sympathetic.  It seems HBO has yet another hit on its hands.  I hope Crashing can continue the momentum it built in season one.

Grade: B+

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