Baskets is a comedy, but it brings more gloom than laughs.
By Mumbua Nzula Nzyoka.
You can never accuse Zach Galifianakis of being ridiculous. At this point, his name is synonymous with the word ridiculous, so the accusation would be redundant. To be honest, you can’t start watching anything that stars Zach and think that it won’t involve some absurdity, case in point “Hangover” – all three of them – “Due Date”, “Dinner for Schmucks” etcetera. “Baskets” is about a clown trying to make a living while trying to justify the validity of his job to his family, wife and the rest of the world. Now take that very serious summary and add a whole bucket of absurdity. Given that summary, it should be a comedy but is it?
I hesitate to call this show a comedy because although it is listed as a comedy, there are moments when it is more sad than funny. (I don’t think I’ve ever described a comedy as being sad and not funny at the same time.) If you have ever watched “Louie”, you will understand what “Baskets” was trying to achieve. Some of the great comedy series all have one thing in common; they try to deliver comedy in disaster or through the bleak elements of life. Comedies like “The Office” and “Last man on earth” are some shows that employ this technique of comedy. However, while “Louie” never fails to deliver on comedy, “Baskets” forgets more often than not. Without the laughs, what you are left with is a show that is bleak with a minute sprinkling of laughs.
“Baskets” is a great idea but when you can’t laugh, all that remains is a show about a clown trying to make it in the world but who is doomed to fail over and over again. Not the most uplifting concept a comedy can employ, especially if the main character is not lovable. If you have the time, give it a try, but I don’t have high hopes that you will be laughing by the end of the first episode.