Garfunkel and Oates are Riki Lindholme and Kate Micucci, stars of internet videos and now the IFC series Garfunkel and Oates. You may recognise them as being Raj from The Big Bang Theory‘s ex-girlfriend (Micucci) and “oh I think she might have been in The Big Bang Theory as well, right?” (Lindholme). As is very “in” right now, the series follows them as fictionalised versions of themselves interspersed with songs from their internet heydays and possibly some original songs as well – I don’t know, I haven’t Googled it. They also use their actual full names, which provides some comedy from the surname “Micucci” (pronounced “my coochie”), which is quite rare as most fictionalised versions give fake surnames in order to distance the actor from the character somewhat.
Comparisons are being drawn between G & O and Comedy Central’s Broad City as they both feature two women as leads and are on cable so that’s a good enough reason for comparison. I prefer Broad City, but they are pretty different comedies so which you prefer is more down to your own sensibilities. Also, I think Broad City is more consistent quality-wise.
I am not a big fan of singing. Sometimes it makes me feel downright uncomfortable. I also find musical comedy to be the lowest form of comedy, a fact that is addressed in the episode ‘Road Warriors’ which makes me like them a bit more. The theme song is too twee and I wish I could skip it, and some of the songs are just shoved into the episode so they can include a song, but it’s fine. They’re pretty short songs, and it’s not Glee-level la la la. My friend showed my the Youtube videos a couple of months ago and I tuned in to see what a full sitcom would be like, so really the songs are just things that I ignore while the rest of the episode carries on.
The majority of the episodes are funny, and most have laugh out loud moments. This is important for comedies and there are quite a few comedies out there that are laugh-free, so that Garfunkel and Oates makes me both laugh on the inside (which can sometimes be an intellectual “that was clever. I would be happy if I had written that”) and outside means that it appeals to my comedic sensibilities and that it is generally well written.
The episodes can be quite variable in quality. Confusingly, IFC put episode 3, ‘Speechless’, as a preview episode about one week before the premier of the pilot. Having watched the first three episodes I can see why they put episode 3 as a preview as, to date, it has been the strongest episode and gave me some big laughs. From good to bad I would rate the episodes as follows:
- Speechless (ep 3) – this is also the only episode written by Lindholme and Micucci
- Hair Swap (ep 5)
- Rule 34 (ep 2)
- Road Warriors (ep 4)
- Third Member (ep 6)
- The Fadeaway (ep 1)
All of the characters are well defined and are likeable, or not, as desired by the writers. I like Lindholm and Micucci as well, maybe because they sort of remind me of myself and a friend, and partly because they are funny, relateable people to a 23 year old. The supporting cast changes every episode, and I guess it is because of this that results in the quality variation. Generally, though, the supporting cast is strong.
7.5/10 – Good summer watching