Opinion | You should watch ‘I Think You Should Leave’

Tim+Robinson+in+his+Netflix+series+I+Think+You+Should+Leave+with+Tim+Robinson+that+debuted+in+2019.+Senior+columnist+Andrew+Prozorovsky+believes+that+people+should+watch+the+comedy-sketch+series+created+by+Tim+Robinson+and+Zach+Kanin.++

Photo courtesy of IMDb

Tim Robinson in his Netflix series “I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson” that debuted in 2019. Senior columnist Andrew Prozorovsky believes that people should watch the comedy-sketch series created by Tim Robinson and Zach Kanin.

By Andrew Prozorovsky, Senior Columnist

A man in a hot dog costume tries to fend off accusations that he was the one who crashed the hot-dog-shaped car through a store window. In another sketch, a reality TV show where naked bodies fall out of coffins challenges the accusation that the footage is fake. In another, a patron of a ghost tour abuses the lax restraint on swearing. 

These are typical premises for Netflix’s “I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson.” Tim Robinson and Zach Kanin, co-creators of “Detroiters” and long-time SNL writers, are the geniuses behind the madness of this sketch-comedy show.

Robinson has said that some of his sketches on ITYSL were drawn from rejected SNL ideas. It shows. SNL has a specific sense of innocent and sometimes political humor, while Robinson and Kanin carve out their own niche.

While every sketch feels fresh in its own way, most revolve around the same idea: some relatable situation is blown out of proportion by an animated and strange character. It takes the mundane and turns it into the absurd. The dialogue and delivery turn office gatherings and friend birthday parties into uncomfortable circumstances that push social boundaries and in the process generate a lot of laughter for the viewers.

The humor doesn’t rely on marginalization or sarcastic observation. It comes from the writing and inane extremes the eccentric characters pursue.

In one sketch, a record company exec tells the hopeful band that they are unwilling to produce covers. The frontman then plays an original song, hoping his band can keep up. The bassist, however, starts improvising with nonsensical lyrics about how undead skeletons would value currency. The back and forth is hilarious, and it is a great sketch to introduce a friend to the show.

The show has a lot to say about social culture as well, but it never preaches. Many of the lessons are gelatinized in a thick layer of comedic absurdity, though they are there.

Parrot Analytics suggests that the show’s ratings are higher than average and reviews for the show have been positive. The community presence online is loyal and the show seems to be gaining momentum, not losing it. 

After months of anticipation, wondering if Netflix would follow its infamous trend of canceling shows after 2 seasons, they finally renewed “I Think You Should Leave” back in May for a third season. It is well-deserved and a wise move on the part of Netflix.

The show’s cast represents diverse identities, while not centering itself around stereotypes. The show also gives new faces a chance, though it contains some fun cameos from people like Bob Odenkirk, Andy Samberg and Cecily Strong.

Furthermore, although Tim Robinson is frequently the center of the sketches, he also takes minor character roles while older or lesser-known actors steal the show, like in this sketch about a professor who is a bit too unsubtle about wanting a bite of his student’s food.

Aside from the show, the fanbase is a wholesome, committed audience dedicated to endlessly quoting lines from the show, that somehow avoid getting stale. It’s true: the show is incredibly quotable. The “rewatchability” is a central part of the appeal.

It also ought to be noted that aside from two seasons of ITYSL on Netflix, Tim Robinson’s sketch-comedy episode of “The Characters” also fits nicely into the fold and is treated as a bonus episode of sorts.

“I Think You Should Leave” is bizarre enough that it can’t appeal to everyone — though it has a broader appeal than it is often credited. 

Still, there are few sketch comedy shows that manage to hit the same beat that ITYSL does. Some have suggested that the show is a spiritual successor to Tim Heidecker (a frequent cast member on the ITYSL) and Eric Wareheim’s “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!” But it is this unique sense of humor that necessitates Netflix’s continuation of it.

Fans of “Detroiters” would recognize Tim Robinson’s signature goofy style in ITYSL, which can also be seen as he calls into Tim Heidecker’s “Office Hours Live.”

Give “I Think You Should Leave” an open-minded chance. It may take a few sketches to properly enjoy, but if you begin to understand the appeal, your appreciation will only grow. You’ll find yourself days later thinking about sloppy steaks or the age-old question of “What does Chunky do?”

 

Andrew is a senior in LAS.

[email protected]