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The Chi (2018)
Living in a somewhat rough urban neighborhood, I found the portrayal of the characters and situations in this show to be extremely authentic. The character development, storylines, dialogue and music selections were all on point. Some situations were maybe a tad on the dramatic side, but this is a scripted TV drama after all. I was pleased that one of the child actors provided some comic relief in later episodes to balance out the darkness and violence in earlier episodes. The finale was perfectly directed, and I cannot wait for a new season! Fans of The Wire, Atlanta and even The Sopranos will probably enjoy this show.
Generic stand up set with some laughs
My review may be biased because I'm not really a fan of Kevin James' TV or movie career, but I love stand up and figured I'd give this a shot. The jokes were pretty unoriginal, run-of-the-mill material I'd hear at any local dive comedy club. He jokes about being fat, men with food allergies needing to "man up" and (...honestly, I don't even remember much of the rest of his set) were all pretty boring and outdated. It was just generic. I did find the jokes about his kids to be pretty funny. I also enjoyed his crowd work (the bits about tattoos made me chuckle). However, I'm pretty sure his joke about his kid sneezing into his mouth was ripped off of Louis CK's bit about his daughter coughing into his mouth. If you're looking for some mildly amusing background noise, go ahead and put this on. Nothing special though.
One for the Fans
I find it interesting that the "Evening With Kevin Smith" films have mostly stellar ratings and reviews here, yet the reviews for this special, so far, are abysmal. I found Kevin's storytelling and humor in "Silent But Deadly" to be no different than his previous specials, and I found him to be as charming and witty as usual. Kevin Smith isn't a standup comedian, so those going into this special without being familiar with his work and numerous podcasts, commentaries, reality TV show appearances, specials and live shows may not "get" or particularly appreciate his humor, personality or brand. I'm not sure this special would appeal to those looking for a traditional comedy special, but Kevin Smith fans will enjoy it. Several anecdotes had me laughing out loud, and if anything, I thought this show was a tad too short. Given the real-life circumstances that occurred after Smith wrapped up the special, I applaud him for making it through and leaving the audience none the wiser regarding his health issues. Using that as the marketing hook for this special is a little iffy to me, but I get it. My favorite moment of this special was the story about Kevin getting the 133-inch TV and wanting to see the life-size version of himself on it. For some reason the visual cracked me up. Again, this might not appeal to everyone, but I think most Kevin Smith finds will find it endearing and entertaining.
The Week Of (2018)
One word: Boring
Given Adam Sandler's career as of late, I didn't expect this to be a groundbreaking film. However, with Chris Rock, Rachel Dratch and Steve Buscemi attached, I thought perhaps I might be pleasantly surprised by this. However, about 10 minutes in, I was utterly bored and had no interest in continuing to watch. I decided to stick it out to the end, but I was still just as bored as the credits rolled as I was from the beginning. There is no cleverness to the film or any laugh out loud moments. It was just dull. I was shocked at the end to see Robert Smigel directed and do-wrote the film. What a waste. I've enjoyed most all of the Netflix originals, but this was definitely a flop. I can't think of a single memorable moment.