The bumbling husband, the uptight wife, the boisterous laugh track, the goofy neighbor; these are just a few of the sitcom tropes that Kevin Can F Himself – AMC’s wonderful dark comedy – draws on for big laughs and bigger drama throughout its first season.
The show follows Allison Devine-McRoberts (Annie Murphy) as she transforms from a go-with-the-flow wife into a woman willing to do just about anything to break free from her suburban prison. She develops a surprising friendship with Patty O’Connor (Mary Hollis Inboden) whom she has known for years only as her neighbor and the sister of Neil (Alex Bonifer), her husband’s best friend. All the while, Allison copes with her husband Kevin’s (Eric Petersen) ignorance, which is played as both comedy and tragedy through innovative storytelling.
The Valerie Armstrong-created series is shot in two distinct formats – sitcom and drama – to highlight Allison’s plight. By contrasting the multi-camera brightness of traditional 30-minute comedies – where the incompetence of the childish husband is played for humor – with the single-camera starkness of serious television, Kevin Can F Himself gets the most out of both formats to create a truly original viewing experience.
Murphy is absolutely fantastic as Allison. Fans know her best for playing Alexis in Schitt’s Creek, so it’s no surprise to anyone that she has the ability to generate laughs from any scenario. But the dramatic portions of the show are where her acting chops are at their strongest. On paper, the competing formats may sound a bit gimmicky or tiresome, but with Murphy at the heart of every transition, viewers experience both the heightened emotions of the drama and the funny one-liners of the comedy with ease.
It’s Breaking Bad (from Skyler’s perspective) meets King of Queens . . . and it works. Just like the salty, sweet goodness of a chocolate-covered pretzel, the light hilarity of the sitcom serves as the perfect compliment to Kevin Can F Himself‘s substantial dramatic storylines.
Kevin Can F Himself is available to stream on AMC+.