The Closer

October 11, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Comedy, THEATRE, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Dave Chapelle’s last (?) Netflix Special, 2021 Chapelle is almost always controversial, and worth watching (except for his Block Party Special, which was an ocean-liner-sized yawn) but in his valedictory show for Netflix, he seems to be intent – or resigned – to cancel himself.  He has been criticized for being ‘transphobic,’ and has obviously spent a good deal of time reflecting on (and deflecting) this.  It has affected his naughty boy comedy: the naughty boy is still there, twinkling at us through his not-so-innocent eyes, but the deconstruction of his often sensible stance is slightly chilling, and the effort…

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I Think You Should Leave – Again

July 22, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Comedy, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, TV SERIES |

Created by Tim Robinson and Zach Kanin (Netflix, July 2021) For those who like their comedy dark, psychotically dark, and salted with real tears, the first season of I Think You Should Leave was hysterical, although we can understand why some people might absolutely hate it.  The Varnished Culture has to report that the 2nd season is even darker, shorter, more arbitrary and occasionally jaw-dropping.. Highlights: An employee hides, snacks and chokes on his hot dog at an impromptu meeting because ‘you can’t cancel lunch.’ A man disguised for a prank candid-camera show loses his will to live at the…

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Please Don’t Go: I Think You Should Leave

May 21, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Comedy, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, TV SERIES |

I Think You Should Leave (By Tim Robinson, et al) (Netflix, 2019) The Varnished Culture has long been a fan of the Theatre of Embarrassment. I Think You Should Leave, created and driven by newcomer Robinson, adds demented anger and Kafkaesque punishment to embarrassment, and it’s the funniest thing in years. A collection of sketches involve a central character who is the carnal embodiment of the current zeitgeist, in terms of obsessive egotism, transferred anger, rampant obscurantism, excessive fussiness and florid querulousness. We cannot wait for a commissioned but Covid-delayed second series. Our favourites: The job applicant, meeting at a…

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