Danny McBride’s new comedy might just end up taking over your mid-week TV schedule
The world isn’t currently, and probably never will be, short on American sitcoms. That much we know.
The US produces TV comedies by the bucket load, and consequently, it’s sometimes difficult to tell the bad from the good.
But not all TV comedies are created equal.
Written by, and starring, eternally self-deprecating comedian Danny McBride, and borrowing The Hateful Eight’s Walton Goggins in a supporting role, Vice Principals could well be the next big thing on television.
What’s it about?
No prizes for guessing what the show revolves around, although more astute readers will notice that McBride and Goggins are sitting particularly awkwardly in the picture above.
In fact, McBride looks like he’s about to go and birth a cow, which is a plot-pint we’re not confident in ruling out given our experience with McBride’s previous show, Eastbound and Down.
But we digress. Yes, the leading duo are sat outside a school office, and yes, Vice Principals is set in an American High School, with Neal Gamby (McBride) and Lee Russell (Walton Goggins) as the titular second-in-command duo.
Needless to say, they aren’t very good at their jobs.
The pair battle for the promotion that will give them ultimate control over the school, which leads to some heated – and sometimes incendiary – exchanges between the two.
And if there’s one thing we’ve learned about possibly incendiary exchanges featuring McBride, they’re hilarious to watch.
Having said that, Gamby’s ultimate goal is to become the school’s principal, and we’re guessing that the lengths his character will go to to get what he wants are… extreme, so there should be plenty of opportunity to laugh your heads off.
By the end of the series, we fully expect to have seen: Goggins slap McBride at least five times, Gamby launch a military coup using reluctant students as soldiers and Will Ferrell’s beaming face popping into shot for a while.
Why you should watch it?
McBride has actually played an inept high school teacher before, in Eastbound and Down, and the results were absolutely hilarious.
Granted, his baseball-themed comedy/drama was niche – by which, we mean that you had to appreciate a very specific kind of comedy to laugh out loud at the show – but the episodes set in the schools were probably the pick of the bunch.
McBride has a definite talent for wacky comedy, and plays the eccentric deluded fool extremely well.
As for Goggins, if you saw Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, you’ll know what this guy is all about. He’s a compelling actor, with a talent for long, dramatic sequences. We think it’s the accent that got him where he is today, to be honest.
But he’s ditched the gritty dramas for a sitcom with McBride, ostensibly taking a serious leap of career faith.
Don’t worry, we think he’s going to be just fine. He’s a pro, and besides that obvious point, Goggins’ characters have always been weird and wacky – it’s just that the audience have never been encouraged to laugh at him.
Well, now, we are encouraged to do so. Laugh away.
What are people saying about it?
The first episode aired in America last week, so there’s been plenty of time for a critical response.
Most people liked the show, although we imagine McBride’s strange brand of comedy suited a Stateside audience like a glove. In all likelihood, the show won’t be as popular in the UK.
But we can change that. Take up your remotes, and get ready to experience 30 minutes of ridiculous, and possibly harmful, hi-jinks in the presence of Neal Gamby and Lee Russell.
Keep an open mind, give it time, and McBride’s brand new comedy could become a staple of your mid-week entertainment.
Vice Principals will air tonight (July 26) at 9:35 pm on Sky Atlantic.