Reviews

Comedy Bang! Bang! Season 2, Episode 10 Review: “Casey Wilson Wears A White Lace Dress & A Black Blazer”

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As we reach the halfway point of Comedy Bang! Bang! season two (this serves as the mid-season finale until October 18th), it’s incredible to see how far the show has come in just ten episodes. That’s not a knock against season one – though it certainly was hit-or-miss – but a compliment of the remarkable leap in quality the show went through as it premiered the second season two months ago. In ten episodes we’ve seen a trip inside the human body, a young orphan who love to stab people, and Anna Kendrick stopping the big bang, which are great in and of themselves, but fall short when compared to the potential of a Comedy Bang! Bang! musical (especially one with Casey Wilson and Paul F. Tompkins). So did all that potential lead to something worthwhile?

Well, yes and no. Yes, “Casey Wilson Wears A White Lace Dress & Black Blazer” is yet another great Comedy Bang! Bang! episode, but in many respects it fell short of what it could have been. The most obvious example would be the songs, which, while serviceable, weren’t catchy and didn’t sound like the music had been worked on past a first draft. Another problem is how rushed the episode felt, like it was so busy setting up guests and getting to musical numbers that it didn’t have time to be funny. And that has damaging results since this is probably the least funniest episode of the season.

Now that I’ve gotten the criticisms out of the way I’ll get to the good parts, of which this episode had many. As guests, Casey Wilson, Thomas Lennon, and Paul F. Tompkins were all great, proving that not only are they funny, but they also aren’t half-bad at singing. The production values were also good – not that it didn’t look like everything was on a small set, because it did, but compared to the normal Comedy Bang! Bang! episode this stood out. It was also clearly a labor of love, with more time and effort put into twenty-two minutes than likely the first nine episodes combined.

That being said, I wish it had made more of an impact. I previously mentioned that it felt like so much work was put in to this episode that the laughs got left out, and at certain parts it’s glaring. Seeing Thomas Lennon singing is great, but when the song isn’t impressive and there aren’t any jokes besides his deformed face (which made me laugh), I’m left liking Thomas Lennon, liking Comedy Bang! Bang!, and wishing I liked his appearance on the show more. The two times the show got the songs right were when Casey Wilson sang about Cheez-Its and Lord Andrew Lord Webber briefly rapped, and both made me yearn for a better version of this episode, one that had the same levels of ambition and production values but with a little more comedy.

I’m giving this episode a positive grade because it’s great; I enjoyed watching it and think it’s successful with most of what it wanted to do. I only spend so much of this review with negatives because Comedy Bang! Bang! has turned into such a great show that, to steal a line from one of the stars of That’s My Boy, “anything less than the best is a felony.” And this episode is a step down from what I know the show can do, and will likely continue to do when it picks back up in October. “Casey Wilson Wears A White Lace Dress & Black Blazer” is a great half-hour of comedy that had a lot of work put into it, and when put alongside most other comedies it stands out. But put alongside Comedy Bang! Bang!, it’s a disappointment.