There is very good news for all the nostalgics of Seinfeld and Jimmy Fallon fans: I’m Dying up here, a nugget signed Showtime, dives into the origins of stand-up, in the Los Angeles of the 70s. Between slews of jokes, dreams of glory and the Bohemian life, we follow a gang of budding comics trying to be part of a very closed circle. Produced by Jim Carrey, this ultra stylish vintage series (whip out those big pointed collars and suede jackets!) moves in rhythm with a stunning soundtrack (The Delfonics, Bowie…)
The pitch: Los Angeles 1973. Goldie Herschlag (an imposing Melissa Leo) manages with an iron glove a stand-up comedy club, Chez Goldie’s, the hottest open scene of Sunset Boulevard. Mike in hand, the young talents —Eddie and Ron, hailing from Boston, Adam a young Afro-American, Marny, a Mexican immigrant— come here to test their jokes in front of an audience of regulars. They all hope to nab the Grail: an invitation on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, the show that launched Jerry Seinfeld, Joan Rivers or Ellen DeGeneres.
Why we like it: Because it’s beautiful ! In the lines of a Scorsese, Jonathan Levine whirls his camera between the different characters to make us partake in the very special ambiance of night club laughter. Secondly, the sketches are very clever (pure US stand-up, caustic and with rhythm, freely discussing subjects pertaining to race, sexuality and drugs…) However it’s not always a barrel of laughs. With its tortured characters, who are totally immersed in their art, the series has its share of drama and manages to make us jump from laughs to tears in two seconds. Strong stuff.
Our heart-throb: Cassie Feder, the Texan lookalike of Barbra Streisand young. Only girl of the gang, she stands out on stage with her 5 star punchlines. Facing the machos and showbiz stars, the young lady incarnates with panache the combat for Women’s Lib in America during the Seventies.
The mantra cue: « Never underestimate the power of charisma»
The good news: The series is renewed for season 2, rendez-vous in 2018 for 10 new episodes.
Thursday the 26th of October at 10:55pm on Canal+