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."
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food