‘Fuck you, Kevin’ wonders what life is like for the sitcom wife when the camera doesn’t focus on her

What is the wife of the typical easy-going, partying sitcom protagonist really like? That question feeds ‘Fuck you, Kevin’, an original proposal that mixes comedy and drama and that arrives tonight at AMC.

By Marina Such – 08 Sep 2021

The sitcom It has traditionally been the genre on which American networks built their grills, and many of them had families as protagonists in which there was always a member who provoked laughter with their out-of-tune tones and crazy witticisms. In the 90s and part of the 2000s, that member used to be the husband, a working class guy with an idea of ​​fun anchored in his high school years and to whom his long-suffering wife had to stop her feet continually.

From that archetype, with which he became famous, for example, Kevin James, Fuck you, Kevin chooses to give it a twist. Valerie Armstrong, its creator, explained before its premiere that, although she had been inspired by some of those comedies, “something that was important to me when developing the series was not to make fun of those sitcoms. We have problems with certain behaviors. “

In the first episode of Fuck you, Kevin you can see right away what Armstrong is talking about: it’s Kevin and Allison’s anniversary day and he prepares a party that, in reality, is designed just for him, with drinking games and impersonators of the American football player Tom Brady. The dynamic that is seen between them is more that of a mother and her teenage son than that of a marriage, and that is the trigger for the series’ proposal.

And, when we see Allison and Kevin together, they are in a sitcom, with their canned laughs, the neighbors who are always at home and feed Kevin’s crazy ideas, his brightly lit set and all the cliches of the genre. However, the moment we follow Allison in her day to day, the format becomes that of a more realistic drama, with a bluish and darker photo. Because she has realized that her marriage is horrible and that she must escape from there anyway.

The burden of handling these changes in tone falls primarily on Annie Murphy, which has here your next project to Schitt’s Creek and in which it is easy to see how Allison’s despair slowly creeps into the traditional comedy side of the series. As soon as life is seen from his eyes, it is impossible to take Kevin’s eccentricities in the same way.

‘Fuck you, Kevin’ plays with the sitcom format and realistic drama to tell its story.

What is curious is Fuck you, Kevin premieres in the same year that Scarlet Witch and Vision established its own dialogue with sitcom more classic. There, Wanda took refuge in her childhood views of The Dick Van Dyke Show and Malcolm to escape from a situation too painful for her, and the series showed him putting his characters in the world of those series.

The point of view of both with respect to these comedies is different, but they maintain a certain formal game with their codes: those of the sitcom indicate that we are in a kind of alternative universe that hides the real problems of its protagonists.

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‘Fuck you, Kevin’ wonders what life is like for the sitcom wife when the camera doesn’t focus on her