blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Kevin Can F**k Himself (2021) s02e01 – Mrs. McRoberts Is Dead

“Kevin Can F’’k Himself” picks up right where the show played chicken with renewal at the end of last season. Dopey sitcom sidekick Alex Bonifer discovered his sister, Mary Hollis Inboden, and his best friend’s wife, Annie Murphy, were planning on killing his best bro. So he broke character and tried strangling Murphy; Inboden smacked him down, pulling Bonifer into the “real” world.

This episode’s primarily about what to do with Bonifer, who at the very least plans on telling best pal Eric Petersen what he heard. Simultaneously, Petersen and his dad, Brian Howe, are planning Petersen’s political career. It starts with a city council appointment, but after Howe gets the idea for some public access commercials, who knows what could happen. Especially as Murphy gets involved, trying to keep Petersen from any chance at office.

Having Bonifer tied up in the basement while plotting, Inboden slowly decides she can’t trust Murphy to consider her considerations enough, not with Bonifer a potential witness. Plus, Bonifer’s (sometimes unintentionally) working on his captors. He tries to convince Inboden she can’t trust Murphy, but then with Murphy, they have some frank discussions about Petersen’s character and behavior.

Since they’re estranged—Murphy interfering with Petersen’s political plot, which is often way funnier with bad jokes than it ought to be—Murphy and Inboden have time for subplots with other people. Inboden’s got cop girlfriend Candice Coke hanging around, and Murphy falls back to hanging out with Jamie Denbo’s depressed, devastated housewife.

As a season premiere, the episode’s okay but little more. Anne Dokoza’s direction’s excellent, and the acting’s great, but it’s muddled overall. It hints at season two plot lines—they’re done after this one, which means someday “Kevin” will be a sixteen-episode marathon without a significant break. But there’s nothing concrete. This episode’s plot lines get things set for later, without establishing later.

The Bonifer resolution is incredibly underwhelming after all the build-up last season.

Hopefully it’s just an uneasy restart and nothing significant; the acting’s fantastic from Murphy, Inboden, and Petersen, so it’s still fine. But I’d assumed they knew what they were doing with last season’s cliffhanger; it appears maybe not so much, which isn’t unconcerning, but also it’s just the first episode back, so uneasy restart. Hopefully. I love this show and don’t want to lose it.

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