Tv Review: Three Busy Debras Season 1 Episode 1

Three Busy Debras S01E01Two brand new shows launched on Adult Swim last night, Beef House, Tim and Eric’s rather disappointing parody of network sitcoms, and this new series which initially seems like a satire of the upper middle classes and their pointless existences. But while that’s undoubtedly a minor aspect there’s so much more to the show than that, which starts off in delightfully skewed way and only gets better and better as it goes on, and which is a far more inventive and original work than Tim and Eric’s latest effort.

Set in the small town of Lemoncurd, the three dressed in white Debra’s appear to live together and seem to exist only to desperately try to outdo each other – with one Debra commenting “Debra your hilarious story reminds you that I have a better one”, which soon leads to our hearing a tale where we discover that after an accident two of the Debra’s are responsible for the death of a pool boy. Not that they’re concerned about his demise, only that they may be found responsible for it, and that’s only due to the actions of a shitty neighbour who wants to report them and who then warns “It’s only a matter of time before the town tube tier comes a knocking”.

Understandably horrified because, as one of the Debra’s comments, “A Debra must be able to conceive at a moment’s notice”, a plan to get away with murder ensues. It’s a plan with an impressive amount of extremely funny moments in it too as one Debra impersonates a police officer (with said Police Officer then going on to impersonate a Debra), another is tasked with disposing of the body (who manages to eventually do so, even if it does involve her falling in love with the corpse during the process) while a third hires a replacement pool boy, if only so he can clean up the bloody stain left by the previous one.

It’s an absurdist piece and then some, and a comedy I adored an enormous amount. Show creators and stars Sandy Honig, Mitra Jouhari and Alyssa Stonoha had previously performed these characters in live shows and due to that it’s clearly a world which has been incredibly well thought out, with a set of rules meaning it may not have any resemblance to reality but which are responsible for a number of extremely funny scenarios and slices of dialogue that made me laugh really bloody hard.

There’s a nicely surreal edge to it as well with one scene seeing a harp descend from the ceiling somewhat miraculously, the police run around in a gloriously daft manner, and the suddenly appearance of a giant hand which is due to deliver a giant handbag to Debra’s home is a “What the fuck?” moment that I loved a great deal. The dialogue shines throughout as well, the way one Debra flirts with the pool boys is especially noteworthy – with the lines “I can lift a car” / “But can you fuck me like a car?” giving me the biggest laugh of the episode, which is quite the accolade given how often the script caused me to burst out laughing.

It’s superbly performed by the central trio, though the supporting cast also definitely pull their weight, and Adult Swim have clearly thrown a big chunk of money at the show as it looks great both visually and as to how it’s directed. The last time I got this excited about an Adult Swim show was when Joe Pera Talks With You debuted on the channel, and though they may contain very different types of humour both possess a deliciously original view of life, and highlight how Adult Swim are yet again responsible for producing some of the very best comedy around.

★★★★1/2

Alex Finch.
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Related Links:
If you’re based in the US you can watch the show on Adult Swim’s site here.
Three Busy Debras’ Official Site.

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