Thursday, March 15, 2018

TV Show Review: Crashing (Season 2)

The quest to make it as a successful comedian continues in the hilarious second season of this HBO show. Pete (Pete Holmes) is still forced to crash on various comedians couches after his wife Jess (Lauren Lapkus) cheated on him with Leif (George Basil) and asked for a divorce. Unfortunately, Pete is such a forgiving and nice guy that he is staying with Leif for the time being. Pete is still trying to make it as a comedian serving his time barking on the corner. Hanging around one comedy club, Pete runs into Penn Jillette who makes him question his faith. Pete manages to get a job opening for Dr. Oz. Leif stops by to take him out for a day of relaxation and appreciation of life. While Pete is often a pushover, Leif finds a unique way to connect with others and often gets his way as he gives advice to strangers.

Still, Pete cannot get over his wife as he refuses to take off his wedding ring or abandon it even as Leif's bag containing accidentally gets mistaken for a bomb. Bill Burr pities him and when Artie Lange bails on their dinner, Bill takes him home to his wife and kid. Pete still acts strange as Bill tries to make him a little more masculine. Bill takes Pete golfing where they riff on comedy but then Pete records it and posts it on Instagram, which leads to a new controversy that bothers Pete more than Bill who kicks him out. Success remains elusive as Pete takes a job at Coldstone Creamery.

A fellow comedian Porter (Henry Zebrowski) finds success on HBO and when Pete is brutally honest with him, it drives him to kill it on stage. Peter is offered representation from a potential manager (Zach Cherry). Pete also becomes aware of the alternative scene and runs into a comedian he has seen at some of the clubs. Ali Reissen (Jamie Lee) is standoffish but as they tour the clubs together she encourages him to develop his act but he ruins one of her recordings by talking too loudly. He also embarrasses himself when he asks a more successful comedian John Mulaney to delay his set so that Ali can go up. Artie Lange copes with his addiction to heroin while Pete tries to help him and throw a benefit for another comedian with Artie as the headliner. Unfortunately, Artie blows off the show so Pete has to find other comedians to fill in.

Pete gets a taste of his potential when he comes up with a corny joke at NACA, a college event planning convention. Ali is dating him now but also trying to find success as well, though she doesn't Pete books several colleges with the help of his manager but hides his success from Ali so as not to make her feel bad. Pete reluctantly participates in a roast battle. Even though a bunch of embarrassing information gets aired out about Pete, he manages to find insulting things to say back and advances through the bracket. He encounters Ali and she says some harsh things about him as he responds back with witty insults. Pete ends up winning but he feels offended by what she said and confronts her about it. They end up breaking up at the end of the finale. 

Crashing has a lot to keep me around and for some reason no matter how many of these shows about comedians are produced, I still tune in. I like the jokes even though I don't always find Pete Holmes that funny, the other comedians make up for it. The idea keeps a steady roster rotating through but the addition of Jamie Lee as a somewhat regular this season helped to make a more continuous plot that engaged me this season. Zach Cherry is really funny as the manager too. Pete's awkward behavior always gets him into trouble and I look forward to where he goes in the next season. 

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