Do you find Brett Gelman hilarious? It’s not a rhetorical question: You either consider the comedian’s act, located at the intersection of Adult Swim and aggressively annoying, as the epitome of edgy, avant–ha-ha humor or you probably don’t consider it at all. When deployed correctly in small doses – see the staggeringly great Amazon Britcom Fleabag – Gelman’s subway-frotteur vibe can add the perfect toxic aftertaste. And even if the weaponized uncomfortability of something like his Dinner in America short isn’t your bag, you have to admire the sheer commitment of taking a premise to maximum squirmitude territory. There’s the nagging sense, however, that all this signature ironic ugliness is just a one-note screech replayed in a loop, and that someone is mistakenly equating being weird and skin-crawling for actually being funny. Which brings us to Lemon. Cowritten by and starring Gelman as an actor mulling around the desperate, I’ll-do-anything margins of Hell Ay showbiz, this vignette mash-up directed by the comedian’s creative partner-in-crime (and life) Janicza Bravo brims with the comic’s sensibility. As such, it’s a litmus test for whether watching the man do his negative creep thing for 90 minutes is your idea of genuinely boundary-pushing, or shock-treatment… Read full this story
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