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I Think You Should Leave

Before watching I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson the only mention of it was on some website that sang its praises. There were at least five or six laugh-out-loud moments during the first refreshingly short (only 15 minutes or so) pilot episode—when an obnoxious local attorney’s TV commercial descends into absurdity, or when audience members start swearing at the bad-boy baby in a Baby of the Year contest. That many laughs is a lot for me (though not nearly as fun as it sounds since a bout of diverticulitis causes severe pain when I move, stand, cough or belly-laugh). But I digress.

Tim Robinson was a cast member on Saturday Night Live in the 2012-2013 season and then shifted to staff writer for the next four years. He also co-starred in, co-created and co-wrote the Comedy Central series Detroiters, which looked interesting but never bubbled up to a high enough spot in my queue. He’s one of those guys who is vaguely recognizable, but you just don’t know his name. It will most likely be remembered now, though his new sketch show won’t be for everyone.

Robinson seems to specialize in playing and writing characters who are loud, obnoxious, awkward or just plain strange. Or sometimes all of that at once—people to whom you might indeed say, “I think you should leave.” He loves to take a joke or funny situation and play it out longer than you would expect, but not in a bad way. That’s the advantage of such a short episode time. Four or five sketches in a 15-minute show doesn’t give you too much time to hang yourself out to dry.

But though it starts with a bang, I Think You Should Leave either gets weaker as it progresses through the six-episode season, or it simply points out a potential flaw in binge-able, drop-at-once streaming shows. Watching the whole shebang at once may dilute the humor since all of these characters and sketches are coming at you one after another. The short episode length seems just right, and I imagine I might have enjoyed the later episodes more if I had been forced to wait a week for each one. Still, you can’t beat a TV ad for a riding stable featuring poorly-endowed horses bred specifically to make men feel better about their own junk. That’s comedy gold.

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