When it comes to being a comedian, there are good things (great material, popularity, success), and there are definitely bad things (accusations of stealing jokes, scorn from other comedians, drugs), but when it comes down to it, comedy and being a comedian can lead to a very important life lesson and rewarding career. There have been a few TV shows that showcase the often turbulent paths of comedians, but the semi-autobiographical Crashing (created by Pete Holmes and Judd Apatow), is actually the most realistic.
The show stars real-life comedian Pete Holmes (playing himself), a Christian man who is gearing towards being a pastor, but that gets destroyed when he comes home to find his wife Jess (Lauren Lapkus) cheating on him and gets kicked out. This obviously changes his viewpoint on life, and sends him to New York City as as strugging comic and "crashing" on famous comedians couches, such as Artie Lange, T.J. Miller, and Sarah Silverman. They give him advice on how to move on from his former life and get started on his new one. He realizes that life and comedy can coexist and lead to a path of new beginnings.
What makes the series for me is the amount of humanity that's put into it. There's not only very adult humor, but there's so much heart included as well. It also doesn't hurt that you have the great Judd Apatow as executive producer and Holmes himself, who is a likable and very funny guy at the helm. It's only the first season, but I hope that HBO takes a chance and it may go on to be a new classic alongside Girls, Sex and the City, and Veep.
A Brief summary of all eight eposodes:
Episode 1: "Artie Lange" - Pete, an aspiring comic find his his wife cheating on him with a guy named Leif, and he finds solace in the form of cynical comedy legend Artie Lange.
Episode 2: "The Road" - Pete meets actor and co-headling T.J. Miller and he attempts to help Artie with his sobriety.
Episode 3: "Yard Sale" - Pete and T.J. travel upstate for his ex-wife's yard sale to save his prized professions.
Episode 4: "Barking" - Pete spends the nights handing out fliers of a comedy club and has bizarre adventures.
Episode 5: "Parents" - Pete faces a turning point when his parents come for a visit, and he asks Jess pretend they're still married.
Episode 6: "Warm Up" - Sarah Silverman invites Pete to stay with her, where she encourages him to try life as a warm-up for the Racheal Ray show.
Episode 7: "Julie" - Pete gets caught up in lies after he gets a call from Leif's wife.
Episode 8: "The Baptism" - Pete tries to win Jess back during the baptism ceremony of former friend of theirs.
The special features in the two-disc set include Pete Holmes' hour-long HBO Special: Faces and Sounds, extra scenes from comedians in several episodes, interviews with Pete about the comedians in various episodes, interviews with the comedians themselves, and an interview with Judd Apatow.
Crashing is a worthwhile and hilarious series that gives comedians a new light. They're not just people with raunchy jokes; they're human beings with real lives and real advice. If you happen to have HBO, or if you're a comedian who wants to see what real comedy is like, this show is the one to watch.