I was dying to see what Annie Murphy’s first project would be after she finished her run on the excellent Canadian comedy, Schitts Creek, with a well-deserved Emmy win. It turns out that AMC’s new half sitcom/half dark drama, Kevin Can F**k Himself, was the answer. With constantly clashing tones in its two distinct halves, I found it difficult to draw a connection. I will say that I think there is a great show hiding just beneath the surface, but I kept longing for the darker side to swallow the laugh-track dullness of the opposition.
Allison (Annie Murphy) is getting tired of being the typical sitcom wife. She longs to break free from the annoying guy she married, Kevin (Eric Peterson), and revolt against various injustices in her life. An idea hatches that is so appealing to Allison in nearly every way—she must kill her husband. Allison is the type to google “the perfect murder” on a library computer. Hungry to exact her scheme, Allison will stop at nothing to be free of her suffocating relationship.
The psychological thriller/drama elements are the most interesting parts, which sadly only exist outside the restrictive confines of the flat sitcom. I just didn’t find playful bickering about pronouncing Alexa as “Alex-er” or a chili-cooking competition to be even the slightest bit hilarious. There isn’t a single moment I loved from the comedy until it started bleeding into the narrative outside the house in episodes 3 and 4. I found it a little strange that we never see Kevin or his best friend outside the comfort of their living room, in the real and dramatic outside world that Allison stumbles into. A wonderful shocking moment ends each episode with a bang and leaves you wanting to immediately start the next one.
As much as I totally loved Annie Murphy (and Mary Hollis Inboden as the sassy Patty), I kept wishing I was more in love with the whole show rather than just one half of it. What this needs most is a WandaVision-style twist to blend its worlds together in an explosive way. It is still worth a look if you can stomach the sitcom sensibilities, though the jury is out on the overall quality.
Kevin Can F**k Himself debuts on AMC+ on Sunday, June 13th, followed by its premiere a week later Sunday June 20th on AMC.