Legit – Season 1

| March 10, 2014

Legit is very much at home on the FX network.  Fans of their other original programming will quickly spot similarities to shows like Louie and Maron as all three series center on the everyday life of a stand-up comedian.  Here, our comedian is raunchy Australian Jim Jefferies, who I personally had never heard of until I was asked to review this series.  In the show, Jim lives with his middle aged friend, Steve (Dan Bakkedahl) and Steve’s quadriplegic brother Billy (DJ Qualls).

Unlike Louie and Maron, Legit is centered on a widely unknown comedian.  He does have several specials out there, he’s obviously been at this for a while, but he doesn’t have the same standing as Marc Maron or Louis C.K.  So, those comedians’ shows can easily focus on their careers with Louis’s stand-up popping up in every episode much like in Seinfeld, and Marc Maron devoting part of every episode to his wildly popular podcast.  The episodes of Legit where we’re seeing Jefferies do stand-up or deal with the paparazzi are really uninteresting to me for some reason.  Fortunately, these elements are few and far between.  The one episode devoted to avoiding the paparazzi works decently, and certainly much better to the second episode devoted to teaching a character how to pick up women.  There was a nice episode where Jim teaches Billy and Steve his technique for picking up women, but then that episode is followed up later by a nearly identical episode of Jim and Billy teaching these techniques to a personal trainer.  It just feels like the writers couldn’t quite come up with enough ideas to fill these ten episodes, and I hope that the second season does a better job of bringing something new to the table in every episode.

I don’t want to bash Legit at all.  I actually found it to be very entertaining, and I have no doubt that I will eventually watch season 2 to see what happens next.  It’s just that I don’t see any plans to make a second season of Maron and between the two series, I’d be much more interested in seeing that than a second season of Legit.

FX is promoting this series as a guy on a mission to do good deeds, and being really bad at it.  That’s the premise of this show boiled down to its absolute minimum.  What’s interesting about Legit is that it doesn’t fit into a conventional sitcom tagline.  Yes, several of the episodes center on Jim trying to do something nice for one of his friends, but it’s not like a My Name is Earl where he has some epiphany in the first episode and the series is built around that very limiting, episodic idea.  Here, Jim is happy to do something above and beyond for a friend unless it interferes with what he personally wants.  It makes him a despicable, but complicated character, and there’s a lot of comedy in watching him react to different situations.

The supporting cast are very strong; especially DJ Qualls, who has a lot of great scenes taking advantage of his handicap, or yelling at someone who could easily kill him just because he refuses to be seen as weak.  Legit doesn’t do as many guest appearances as the other two comedian based series, which is unfortunate, but when a good guest star like Andy Dick shows up as himself, it lends a great energy to the episode.  Hoping to see more of that in Season 2

Available on Blu-ray and DVD from 20th Century Fox on March 11.

About the Author:

Joe Ketchum Joe Sanders is a podcaster, playwright, and college instructor in Kalamazoo, MI. He has a master's degree in playwriting and a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Western Michigan University, where he currently teaches thought and writing, and is the host of the Quote Unquote Guilty podcast, part of the Word Salad Network.
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