Sunday, July 23, 2017

Now on Hulu: Baskets, Season 1 (2016)

Baskets, Season 1 (2016) - Created by Louis C.K., Zach Galifianakis, Jonathan Krisel; Starring Zach Galifianakis, Louie Anderson, Martha Kelly.

By Kenny Howell

A classically trained clown tries to make it in the rodeo world and keep his life together in this comedy from Zach Galifiankis.

Galifiankis (Keeping Up with the Joneses) plays dual roles as brothers Chip and Dale. Chip is the main focus here, as he returns from Paris after attending clown school to Bakersfield, California, his hometown. He has a French wife in tow, a woman who made it very clear to him that she only wanted a green card, and planned on finding another man once she got to the United States.

Chip ignores all of this, tries to chase his dream of being a clown, albeit in the rodeo, which will change her mind, and then he will be happily married. He gets her a place to live, but he doesn't stay with her, he lives with his mother, played brilliantly by Louie Anderson in an well-deserved Emmy-winning performance. He also meets up with a local insurance adjuster from Costco after his scooter is wrecked. Her name is Martha (another great performance from Martha Kelly), and she becomes Chip's sidekick throughout the season, mostly for him to belittle for no apparent reason, mostly because she has a punching bag mentality.

It's not hard to believe that a series from Galifiankis and co-created by Louis C.K. (with Jonathan Krisel) would be so weird, it very much is, but at its core, Baskets is about depression and how people get through day by day, even when it seems like they shouldn't. And it really is about that a bit under the surface, even it is very prevalent during the whole first season. It is also really funny at times, and Galifianakis, Anderson and Kelly may be one of my favorite trios on TV.

The first season of Baskets is now available on Hulu.

Rating: ***1/2

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