Some people love Tim and Eric, some people hate them, but very people seem to occasionally like some of their work but can mostly take them or leave them. Yet I find myself in that category, I’m very fond of Tom Goes To The Mayor, really like Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule, but Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories are something I don’t mind and might sometimes laugh a lot at, but on other occasions may stare at in a confused manner wondering why they thought something would be funny.
Unfortunately Beef House falls in to the latter category for me, as with all comedy I wanted to like it, I had my mouth open hoping it would create some sort of weird noise that people would describe as “laughter”, but for most of the eleven minutes running time I found myself just a little bored. It wasn’t bad per se, only a little bland, as it sent up traditional network sitcoms in a manner that felt predictable and dull and while there was the odd attempt at unusual humour most of it was just as unfunny as the material it was mocking.
Coming complete with canned laughter and over the top audience responses as if it were a shitty sitcom from the 90s (or a shitty sitcom by Chuck Lorre that was made last week), Tim and Eric and a bunch of old guys (Ron Austar, Tennessee Luke, and Ben Hur) live in a house together, with Eric married to Detective Megan Dungeron (Soprano’s star Jamie-Lynn Sigler). Initially it seems vaguely amusing as to celebrate Easter Eric makes cheap copies of Faberge Eggs and Tim puts on an extremely camp fashion show with the three older gentlemen, with one of them dressed as an Easter bunny, and it’s not actually a bad start, but sadly it was the only during these opening scenes that I smiled, and as soon as Tim’s former army buddy Brad (Michael Bowen) comes to stay and disrupts their unusual existence by being an utter turd it’s rather boring stuff indeed.
Flirting with Megan, insulting Eric about his potentially low sperm count, and sniffing Megan’s underwear when he thinks no one’s looking, he’s the epitome of the The Thing That Would Not Leave trope, though Eric doesn’t seem to care and is just pleased that his friend’s come to visit. That finally (and thankfully) changes when Brad insults the song Tim’s written and they devise a plan to get him out of the house, but the whole sequence is as tired as the dated sitcom’s the show mocks, this kind of parody has been around for years (if not decades) and Tim and Eric fail to offer up anything new.
Perhaps the next episode will be an improvement, the opening sequence had just enough intriguing ideas before it was spoilt by the arrival of Brad for me to be vaguely positive that this won’t be a complete misfire, and the three elderly gentlemen they live with certainly show some potential. But right now as satires of multi-camera mainstream comedy’s go this really isn’t weird, crazy or absurd enough to be of note, it’s conventional unconventional humour and Tim and Eric really are capable of creating comedy much better than this.