Welcome to What’s the Buzz, 25YL’s feature where members of our staff provide you with recommendations on a weekly basis. In our internet age, there is so much out there to think about watching, reading, listening to, etc., that it can be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff, filter out the noise, or find those diamonds in the rough. But have no fear! We’re here to help you do that thing I just described with three different metaphors. Each week a rotating cast of writers will offer their recommendations based on things they have discovered. They won’t always be new to the world, but they’ll be new to us, or we hope new to you. This week, Hawk Ripjaw is enjoying I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson Season 2, Paul Keelan recommends a double feature of films featuring Gerard Butler, and Hal Kitchen is watching Brick (2005).
I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson Season 2
Hawk: I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson is unquestionably the modern benchmark for American sketch comedy, and the highly-anticipated Season 2, which dropped on July 6, is a continuation of that mad brilliance. As a huge fan of Tim Robinson and the first season of I Think You Should Leave, I was delighted to find that this second season is fantastic: consistently eliciting breathless belly laughs, perfectly outlandish sketch concepts and a constant surplus of chaos and anxiety.
The consistent mood of I Think You Should Leave is anxiety, be it helpless bystanders to an impossibly toxic person, or someone finding themselves in a lie and refusing to go anywhere but further down the hole of the facade. Sometimes, this core concept serves as a launchpad just a couple of minutes into the sketch veers wildly off to the side. Take, for example, the “Calico Cut Pants” sketch, in which a man exits a bathroom with a couple of urine stains on his slacks because he didn’t “finish shaking.” A gentle chiding by his boss is interrupted by Robinson as a coworker, claiming that the man didn’t have urine stains, but instead bought pre-stained pants as a style from a website. And from there, the episode cycles through a series of new main themes.
The pure economical nature of I Think You Should Leave might be its greatest strength. Much like The Eric Andre Show, there is a surplus of footage captured, from which the best few minutes are used for the actual episode. This also means that a sketch can end literally whenever, and the hard cut to the bridge to the next episode is its own bizarre punchline. The unpredictability of where a sketch will go and when exactly it will end is a wonderfully funny core element of the show’s surrealism. The frequency with which conversations veer off into completely nonsensical left-field territory keeps each sketch completely unpredictable, yet bound to its own chaotic logic.
The meme potential for I Think You Should Leave’s second season, just like the first, is off the charts. “Sloppy steaks” are expensive cuts of meat that have water poured on them. Santa Claus is the star of a violent and vulgar “cosmic gumbo” action franchise and repeatedly affirms that his acting rate is “2 mil.” Nothing here compares to Ruben Rabasa’s legendary “Focus Group” performance from the first season, but there’s still a consistent stream of templates that will keep the ITYSL subreddit busy for the next several months.
The show’s first season had some absolutely legendary sketches, and while the sophomore season might not reach the same soaring heights, it does have fewer duds. In terms of creativity and audible laughs, ITYSL is still an absolute titan of sketch comedy. The season can be knocked out easily in under two hours, and the show’s gonzo logic and manic energy will make it feel like significantly less. Here’s hoping for Season 3.