×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV Review: ‘W/Bob & David’

With:
With: Bob Odenkirk, David Cross, Paul F. Tompkins, Jill Talley, Jay Johnston, John Ennis, Brian Posehn, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Scott AukermanB

Even for fans of “Mr. Show,” the acclaimed sketch series that signed off in the late ’90s, “W/Bob & David” (actually “W/BOB & DAVID” on screen) is one of those reunion tours that no one really asked for or particularly needed. Yes, it’s nice seeing Bob Odenkirk, David Cross and their assorted collaborators (many of whom have been equally busy) back performing together. But the intervening years have brought an explosion of similar series, and nothing about the targets or topics feels distinctive enough here to merit much enthusiasm for this limited run of four episodes, plus a “Making of” special.

Granted, for Netflix, the modest investment likely will yield the requisite dividends, strictly in terms of publicity. Indeed, some of the service’s recent orders seem motivated heavily by marketing and the media ripple effect (witness the “Full House” and “Wet Hot American Summer” revivals), recognizing the attention nostalgia-driven enterprises are currently generating, where just wrangling everyone to show up is more than half the battle.

The two previewed episodes here provide a sense of the trademark irreverence, and structure, where one sketch either bleeds into the next or circles back later in the half-hour. Imbued with an absurdist bent, the vignettes are, not surprisingly, hit-miss, from Cross as a clueless filmmaker who insists on referring to slavery as “helper-ism” to a TED talk-type media guru who just keeps repeating the word “Digital!” over and over.

Cross, Odenkirk and the rest of the band (including high-profile guests like Jeffrey Tambor, Keegan-Michael Key and Paget Brewster) might enjoy having an opportunity to flex these muscles, but once one moves past the gang getting back together to put on a show, “W/Bob & David” doesn’t feel like anything to get all-caps about; rather, it’s merely an old-new variation of a show that already exists in a half-dozen varieties on channels like Comedy Central and IFC.

While there are, inevitably, some funny moments (and some really bad wigs), there’s also a sense that this was a weekend lark — a celebratory stage reunion somewhere, perhaps — that somehow got conflated into this mini-revival. Whatever the motivation, consider it one of those cases where the old maxim notwithstanding, there just wasn’t much reason for the “Show” to go on.

TV Review: 'W/Bob & David'

(Series; Netflix, Fri. Nov. 13)

Production: Produced by Absolutely, Odenkirk Provissiero and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

Crew: Executive producers, David Cross, Bob Odenkirk, Naomi Odenkirk, Marc Provissiero, Tim Sarkes, Dave Kneebone, Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim; co-executive producers, Brian Posehn, Mark Rivers, Dino Stamatopoulos; supervising producer, Carl Fieler; producer, Jonathan Roig; directors, Keith Truesdell, Jason Woliner; writers, Scott Aukerman, Cross, Eric Von Hoffman, Jay Johnston, Bob Odenkirk, Bill Odenkirk, Posehn, Rivers, Stamatopoulos, Paul F. Tompkins. 30 MIN.

Cast: With: Bob Odenkirk, David Cross, Paul F. Tompkins, Jill Talley, Jay Johnston, John Ennis, Brian Posehn, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Scott AukermanB

More Digital

  • The Irishman

    'The Irishman' Nabs 17.1 Million U.S. Viewers on Netflix in First Five Days, per Nielsen

    Martin Scorsese’s mafia saga “The Irishman” was watched by 17.1 million unique Netflix viewers in the U.S. in the first five days of its streaming release, according to Nielsen estimates. By comparison, Sandra Bullock-starrer “Bird Box” scored nearly 26 million U.S. viewers in its first seven days of availability (Dec. 21-27, 2018) on Netflix, according [...]

  • Amazon, HBO Max, Netflix Dish on

    Amazon, HBO Max, Netflix Dish on Their International Plans

    It’s different strokes for different streaming folks as Amazon, HBO Max and Netflix lifted the lid on their international plans in London this week. Amazon said it’s not in the volume game and talked up a select number of hyper-local shows, while Netflix dished on plans to rev up non-English-language originals. The message from HBO [...]

  • NOBODY’S LOOKING

    Daniel Rezende on Netflix Brazilian Series ‘Nobody’s Looking’

    Having premiered on Netflix Nov. 22, “Nobody’s Looking” marks the first collaboration between Gullane and Netflix – their second, “Boca a Boca” is in development- and comes from a long list of new projects that the streaming giant has announced with it’s $87 Million investment in Brazilian content. The series embodies the streaming platform’s push [...]

  • Sunil Doshi

    ATF: Sunil Doshi Launches Content Development Platform All Things Small (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sunil Doshi, whose company Alliance Media & Entertainment produced 2017 Tokyo film festival title “Bioscopewala” and distributed Jafar Panahi’s 2018 film “3 Faces” in India, has launched a new content development platform at the ongoing Asian TV Forum & Market in Singapore. The Mumbai-based All Things Small (ATS) is founded by Doshi, journalists Sidin Vadukut, [...]

  • YouTube-Rewind-2019

    YouTube Rewind 2019 Scraps Old Format After Last Year's Torrent of Dislikes

    YouTube has taken a brand-new approach with this year’s YouTube Rewind mashup video — dropping its tradition of highly produced original videos segments. Instead, the 2019 version is a montage of what the platform says were the biggest moments and milestones from around the world on YouTube. The move came after the 2018 YouTube Rewind [...]

  • PewDiePie

    PewDiePie Is the Most-Watched YouTube Creator of 2019 With 4 Billion Views

    PewDiePie’s Bro Army remains stronger than ever: The top YouTuber is the most-viewed creator of 2019 on the platform year-to-date, with more than 4 billion views this year, according to YouTube. The comedian, game vlogger and meme aficionado, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, is also the most-subscribed individual YouTube creator, currently with 102 million [...]

  • Variety Summit Examines Streaming Options and

    Variety Summit Examines Streaming Options and Innovation

    Analytics, monetization and the expanding landscape of entertainment will be the focus of Variety’s Innovate Summit: Discovery & Data Science in Media on Dec. 5 in West Hollywood. The event is presented by PwC. The summit will feature 32 speakers, each considered industry leaders in the emerging world of streaming. Each panel will speak to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content