Kevin Can F**k Himself, Nomadland, and One Cut of the Dead

Kevin announces his plan to Neil, Patty, Allison, and Brian in their sitcom living room.
Photo Credit: Jojo Whilden/AMC

Welcome to What’s the Buzz, where members of our staff provide you with recommendations on a weekly basis. This week, Caemeron Crain urges you to check out Kevin Can F**k Himself, Paul Keelan is watching One Cut of the Dead, and Hal Kitchen sings the praises of Nomadland.

Kevin Can F**k Himself

Caemeron: Kevin Can F**k Himself may well end up being my pick for the best new show of 2021. It wouldn’t be fair to make that decision with four months left in the year, but it is hard to overstate how impressed I’ve been with this series as its first season has progressed. The rollout has been a bit odd, with episodes releasing a full week earlier on AMC+ than their airing on AMC. I can’t help but wonder if this has somewhat kept it from entering the cultural conversation to the extent it deserves.

If you haven’t seen Kevin Can F**k Himself, or perhaps haven’t even heard about it, the premise of the show is pretty straightforwardly in its name. Think about any sitcom featuring a bone-headed doofus of a man (who may or may not be named Kevin) and his antics, while his wife is forced to endure his ridiculous and potentially problematic behavior. Her intelligence (which is apparent on a moment’s reflection) is often insulted or ignored. She’s treated as a nag or is otherwise generally the butt of jokes rather than a character with true agency in the plot.

With Kevin Can F**k Himself, Valerie Armstrong et al. imagine a story from the perspective of that long-suffering sitcom wife. Except the show actually doesn’t always take her perspective—when Kevin (Eric Petersen) is around it takes the form of a standard sitcom. It’s when Allison (Annie Murphy) leaves the room or otherwise goes out into the world—whether on her own or with others, like Patty (Mary Hollis Inboden)—that the narrative framing shifts.

This way in which Kevin Can F**k Himself plays with its genre, not just in terms of its tone but through the very way in which it is shot, is one of the things I find to be most brilliant about it. As we progress, even the way the sitcom scenes land permutates, from something we may well be tempted to laugh along with to something that begins to feel oppressive.

As I began watching Kevin Can F**k Himself I for some reason felt (at least subconsciously) that this was going to be a one season show—that either Valerie Armstrong et al. were going to expend all of their ideas through this eight episode arc, or that the show would become so dark that it would fail to get renewed, or both. But now that I’ve finished watching Season 1 I know that I was wrong about that. The season finale perfectly brings threads together in a satisfying way while also setting up Season 2.

We need Season 2. So go watch Kevin Can F**k Himself and let’s make sure we get it. (And while you’re at it, be sure to check out the articles we’ve written on each episode).

Written by TV Obsessive

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