TV Review: “Brody Stevens: Enjoy it!”

brody-stevens-enjoy-it

By Jon Marcus | December 5, 2013

It’s not uncommon for stand-up comics to endlessly obsess over the minutiae of their daily lives, and perhaps no one more than Bogart LA’s very own Brody Stevens.

Airing in 1 hour blocks, Sundays at midnight on Comedy Central, “Brody Stevens: Enjoy It!” takes on a darker angle than most other comedy series. An expanded and updated version of an HBO web series broadcast last year, “Enjoy It!” documents what is seemingly Brody’s best career move yet, a public breakdown broadcast live on twitter and his ostensible recovery.

Billed as Comedy Central’s first dramedy, the show jumps quickly from scene to scene, meshing art and life in a way in which the viewer is often left unsure about when Brody is doing a bit and when he is speaking from the heart.

Using live stand-up material, animation, documentary footage, and interviews, the series takes an unrelenting look at Brody’s life and his attempts to repair relationships with his family and friends, including Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Silverman, Steve Agee, Tim Heidecker, and Eric Wareheim.

“With Brody, it’s never about the jokes,” said friend and “Enjoy It!” executive producer Zach Galifianakis, “It’s about the in between the jokes,” referencing the humor that Stevens creates from confronting his audiences and littering his material with twitter-ready affirmations (#Yes #PushAndBelieve #PositiveEnergy), which often give an impression of lunacy. “Enjoy It!” looks to tackle the question of what happens when someone whose career is based on crazy apparently goes crazy.

Are his conversations an act? It’s hard to say. Is he genuine? I’m not sure if his family even knows. At the very least, “Enjoy It!” asks the viewer if sanity and insanity are merely tools of deception in the hands of a capable enough performer. As Brody attacks an uncomfortable moment by yelling his mantra, #PositivePush, the viewer is left to question what is routine and what is reflex and then is left to connect the dots as they see fit. Brody’s humor may not be for everyone, but it may be for everyone else.

 

Jon Marcus is working on his attention to detial. Continue the conversation with him on twitter @itsjonmarcus.