Maron, TV review: What seemed bravely self-revelatory is beginning to look lazy
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Friday 15 August 2014
Louis CK's sitcom vehicle Louie recently reached its series finale on Fox and now there's a new and not dissimilar programme filling the slot. Maron stars the US stand-up Marc Maron as himself – a cat-loving, twice-divorced comedian who makes a popular podcast interviewing other comics, out of his garage.
Like Louie it features several guest stars from the comedy world, usually playing themselves. Later episodes will feature Amy Poehler, Ray Romano and Sarah Silverman, but last night it was the Kids in the Hall star Dave Foley, who reluctantly joined Maron as he sought vengeance on a Twitter troll called "Dragonmaster".
Maron arrives on television at the tail end of a trend for autobiographical sitcoms. Many of them have been great – we've seen Louie, of course, and Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm and more recently Emily Mortimer and Dolly Wells in Doll & Em – but what seemed bravely self-revelatory at first is beginning to look lazy.
Remember when performers actually went to the trouble of inventing characters and scenarios for our entertainment? Maron's musings will be enough for some, but on the evidence of this uninspiring first episode, I'm inclined to agree with Dragonmaster's mean-spirited assessment: "If whining was jokes, Marc Maron would be a genius."
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