I watched Mike Birbiglia's Sleepwalk with Me, and the main thing I took away from the experience was that I really wanted to see more of Marc Maron acting. I'm not sure he's good at it, but he's definitely entertaining at it.
Lucky me, he now has his own IFC television show, Maron. Based on his life to such an extent that calling it "written" almost seems dishonest, this show follows Maron as he does all the stuff he talks about doing on his podcast. And it also shows his podcast. You can watch the whole thing right now. Or you can just listen to it if you want to do this in baby steps.
In the spirit of Marc Maron's persona, I'm going to call it like I see it and accuse Maron of being just a tiny bit cliche, as far as stand-up comedian TV shows go. The episode opens with Maron having a neurotic phone call with his goofy mother, for crying out loud. By the time this first episode's 22 minutes are up, Maron has cycled through a whole Sundance indie drama worth of negative emotions and existential crises.
Like a live action Dr. Katz, it looks like some of Maron's appeal will come from his weekly podcast recording segments. This week we get Dennis Leary. Marc Maron calls him a fake firefighter. I appreciated that.
Still, it's going to take more than one episode to figure this show out. Every step forward seen here comes with an equal step backwards. Maron's weird forced acting is obviously not kosher, but I can see it being the sole reason I come back to this show. The assistant kid is annoying, except when he says something unexpected and funny.
The whole thing is a little pointless and far too free-wheeling to justify its existence, making it kind of the anti-Louie. But it also has quite a few good laughs, particularly from Maron just being an asshole. Maybe with a little time, this will grow into something more than "Hey, Marc Maron is popular, and he doesn't have a TV show, yet!"
Obviously, I'm very torn. When the show finally gets rolling on May 3, I'll probably be along for the ride, provided they keep posting them online in one form or another. What do you guys think?