Comedy Central specializes in two kinds of series that are usually promising and seldom very good: Lewd animated shows; and sketch comedies, generally built around some rising but moderately known standup talent. “Kroll Show,” starring and produced by “The League’s” Nick Kroll, falls into the latter camp. It’s a tiresome affair, primarily consisting of stale reality TV and commercial spoofs. Mostly, it feels like a show aimed at people who already watch way too much TV.
Kroll opens with a short standup-style introduction directly to the camera, but the series then plunges into three or four sketches, cutting back and forth among them so you never see one for very long. This might make the series seem faster-paced and more Web-like, but the shortage of laughs ensures the half-hours do anything but fly by.
One set-up, for example, is a parody of Bravo-type shows, titled “PubLizity,” about two publicists (one of them Kroll in drag) both named Liz. Yet while the idea is plausible enough to pass muster, the execution pretty much goes nowhere, which could also be said of the near-self-explanatory “Sex in the City for Dudes,” which features Ed Helms among the cameos.
In almost every case, even the good concepts (like Kroll as a mic’ed up referee during an NBA game, needily badgering the players) peter out, while the more esoteric ones, such as a spoof of Canadian dramas, are a little too precious for their own good, eh?
Despite the advantages of sketch comedy — which cater to short attention spans, and have the capacity to go viral, like “Key & Peele’s” Obama-translator video — the genre can be deadly when presented so blandly, and coming up with enough fresh bits is harder than it looks.
Whatever Kroll’s individual merits, this vehicle simply blends into the scenery. And like a lot of what Comedy Central programs at 10:30, it’s likely to leave more discerning viewers asking, “How much longer till ‘The Daily Show?’ “