In a world where daily network television is dying and streaming services are thriving, it’s hard to identify which streaming series are watchable and which are garbage. I wouldn’t blame you if you got rid of Netflix six months ago—the hits aren’t hitting as hard lately. However, the occasional gems are still there, and despite the occasional dud or awkward silence, ‘I Think You Should Leave,’ in just its first two seasons, has given me (and others) more laughs than any other show on Netflix, or elsewhere. For that reason, and these next few others, ‘I Think You Should Leave’ is making a case for the best original streaming service comedy.
Relatable, but Ridiculous Scenes
Like SNL and other sketch shows before it, the hilarity is in the hijinks, but thanks to the genius mastermind Tim Robinson, ‘I Think You Should Leave’ establishes its own identity as well. Relying on over-the-top, refusal-to-stop social messes, much of Robinson’s comedic focus is on ridiculous scenarios in our everyday lives. Whether at board meetings, adult house parties, or even a nice lunch on the town, every scene takes place in a familiar setting (sometimes in the form of advertisements—an SNL classic), with seemingly familiar people. Yet, something always breaks, and (often) Robinson’s refusal to back down in these social engagements leads to impossible to navigate, awkward situations.
An Inability to Slow Down
At times, these are painful. The inability for the man to stop has audiences screaming at the TV for him to give the gig up, but at the same time, this allows for the absolute extreme to come out, which is typically where the laughs stem. After a brain-nerving couple minutes of intense social pressure, something bursts, and the comedy can finally cascade from there. Much like Michael’s (The Office) stubbornness and ignorance, Tim Robinson’s titular characters seem void of all social awareness, focusing on their pride, rather than the situation. Similar dominoes fall, and we’re left with someone likely humiliated, but in deserved fashion.
There’s Still Variety
Importantly though, Robinson switches things up, and not every sketch follows these patterns. Parodied worlds are featured throughout, with alien Motorcyclists, to baby pageants (rather than toddlers, they’re basically newborns), to a sci-fi version of Scrooge (thanks to the ghost of Christmas way future). And other, arguably eerie sketches lurk around too (the airplane, good lord). Whatever the episode, there’s at least one palette cleanser to keep you guessing.
Accessibility, Accessibility, Accessibility
The clearest advantage ‘I Think You Should Leave’ holds over other streaming comedies is its breadth (or lack thereof). Thanks to fifteen-ish minute episodes, and only six episodes a season, people can likely blow through the entirety of the show in an afternoon or evening (total runtime should be around 3 hours). There are few excuses to not at least dip your toe in the water, if your other shows are one-hour long, or slightly less.
While a lack of breadth certainly helps with this, ‘I Think You Should Leave’ is a rewatchable show, simply due to the identity of its comedy. Just like The Office, the realism of the scenarios combined with the great writing opens up ample amounts of reference-humor for you and your friends. Sharing ‘I Think You Should Leave’ arguably enhances its hilarity, not just in the moment (it’s always better to laugh with friends), but in general, due to its reusability.
Overall, Tim Robinson’s ‘I Think You Should Leave’ is a deceptively well-rounded comedy, rooted in the basics of sketch-writing, but flared up by the hilarious mind of Robinson, and co. Thanks to its easy-to-understand environments, off-the-wall situations, and nonstop attack, it’s easily one of the greatest original streaming comedies—with the potential to improve even more, given a third season. While its awkwardness can pile on (I’d recommend company for this one), by the end of each sketch, and episode, each moment is worth it. Combine that with an even better watching experience the second and third time, and you have a dangerously addicting comedy, with a dangerously short runtime.