April 18, 2009

Crushing Cabbage Heads: Kids in The Hall Season 4

To be honest, I wasn't expecting (upon watching this again) to like it as much as I did.

When season four first began, I had trepidations - after all, it was moving from the censor-light HBO to the slightly more restrictive CBS in an abortive attempt to create a late night line up. It often meant that the KITH were on in the wee early hours of the morning (if at all), and blasted commercials kept interrupting the show.

In fact, I was also worried that they had lost their edge.

On some levels, there is a slightly more "mainstream" approach to the Kids' writing...but in all honesty, one of the highlights of this season in particular is how the KITH will go from a slightly more wacky, less-than-edgy (or, to paraphrase one of their skits, "just like The Sonny & Cher Show) to sharp, biting, almost pitch black humor....within the same sketch.

Good example - Simon Milligan & Hecubus engage in a "vocational exchange" program - a slightly less-than-adult premise. The kind of innocuous premise one might see in a less-than-stellar sketch show. However, the sketch soon delves into drug use, some hints of inappropriate sexual behavior, and modern dentistry. It manages to not only have the Kids' darker edge...but I'm sure that the executive in charge of Standards and Practices had a field day attempting to have the sketch "edited" for mass appeal.

(I know, it's late night, who's watching, but still...)

Season 4 isn't the Kids' strongest season - there are a couple of sketches that don't work. However, it's still much stronger than its primary competition, In Living Color (which seems to have not dated well). However, I'm greatly surprised at how consistent the Kids have been....and that fourteen years later, this material still holds up.

Now, next month means season five...and the season where I attended a taping. This has been the most fun I've had blogging.

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