Andrea Savage is a funny person, so it’s nice to see her get her own show, I’m Sorry, which premieres Wednesday with back-to-back episodes on truTV.
Yep, it’s on a channel (with Impractical Jokers, Those Who Can’t and Adam Ruins Everything) that’s not exactly lighting up the zeitgeist but, as we’ve seen elsewhere, there can be a tipping point for almost any channel out there. The trouble, as shows like Teachers on TV Land and Playing House on USA can testify, is that no matter how funny your show is and how many cool cameos you can muster, it doesn’t always translate to ratings success.
But that’s somebody else’s problem. The short look truTV gave critics for I’m Sorry — just the two episodes that kick off Wednesday — are enough to garner laughs and have you make a mental note to come back next week to see where it goes.
Savage (Veep, Episodes, Sleeping With Other People) plays a comedian, writer and mom who hasn’t stopped being funny just because she’s had to grow up. In fact, she’s basically a 15-year-old boy who will say anything inappropriate when given the chance, and that, in turn, tends to get her in a number of wince-inducing situations as she tries to explain herself (hence the title, one would assume).
Yes, Andrea plays a woman named Andrea, married to a very understanding husband in Mike (Tom Everett Scott). They have a small child, Amelia (Olive Petrucci), and Andrea has some funny friends played winningly by Judy Greer, Jason Mantzoukas and Gary Anthony Williams. (One of the show’s early jokes, which should stick, is that Mike thinks Andrea’s friends cause havoc with their natural inclination to want to see things go sideways for comic effect, and he likes to keep his work friends, who think he’s the funny one, separate.)
Savage has that fearless desire to tackle anything — the first two episodes are about another mom at her kid’s school who was a famous porn star known for her anal adventures and the second is about her daughter saying things that might be construed as racist. There are uncensored episodes that truTV will have with its VOD option, and those should be sought out since the show clearly shoots everything and then bleeps what’s necessary.
The resulting bits work, for the most part, and I’m Sorry has a nice thing going with the chemistry between Savage’s humor and Scott’s there-for-her compatibility as the husband (Scott’s charm and rubbery facial expressions do the bulk of the work in the early going.) Playing up the married-with-a-kid thing and how the maturity demands butt up against Andrea’s innate sense of inappropriate humor will be a good thing, mostly because Scott’s ease makes it work. And if you’ve got Greer, Mantzoukas and Williams to interact with, a lot can go right.
Where I’m Sorry will have to distinguish itself is in the need to find fresh ground in the well-trod territory of wincing humor that, say, Curb Your Enthusiasm does so brilliantly. There are a lot of series mining this style, so it’s not like Savage has done anything wrong by jumping into the fray, but I’m Sorry will need to find its own unique variation soon enough.
But early on the show feels like it’s already in rhythm, which is a nice surprise. It’s executive produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay with Andy Samberg’s production company Kablamo! executive producing as well, so there’s plenty of pedigree here. The hard part will be, as mentioned, standing out in a crowded field. But tons of series are facing that same problem and managing to get into second and third seasons so it’s not impossible, and I’m Sorry certainly deserves a look.
Cast: Andrea Savage, Tom Everett Scott, Olive Petrucci, Judy Greer, Jason Mantzoukas, Gary Anthony Williams
Premieres: Wednesday, 10 p.m. ET/PT (truTV)