‘Angie Tribeca’ is a Modern Day ‘Get Smart’

TBS brings binge-watching to TV with their 25 hour commercial free show ‘Angie Tribeca’!

It’s hard to believe that not everyone has Netflix or access to an account, but it’s 2016 and who needs a login? TBS is capitalizing on the binge-watching game with it’s procedural parody from the comedic minds of Steve and Nancy Carrell.

I’d like to consider myself a TV writing professional. And by professional, I mean someone who watches a lot of TV, and sometimes writes about it. So when I turned on Angie Tribeca it was with the full intention of creating some background noise while I did something more productive. The problem is that I couldn’t stop laughing.

This was especially weird because, at one in the morning when I first turned it on, I thought it wasn’t funny at all and I couldn’t imagine how they had gotten guest stars like Keegan-Michael Key. This is exactly why you don’t watch anything when you’re tired. I was fully prepared to write a short little thing about why this was a terrible idea and the show wasn’t funny. Luckily, I was easily convinced into giving it a second chance and it’s worth it!

I’m a big fan of shows that make fun of their content. Galavant is doing it for a second season on a major network and it’s not getting the ratings it deserves. Fortunately, I appreciate the singing and dancing and the fun jabs at pop culture and politics. It actually makes the typical plot a lot more interesting. And yet, for some reason, I immediately wrote off Angie Tribeca for the same reasons.

Procedurals aren’t exactly as popular as they used to be at least in terms of pop culture and what people are tweeting about. Mariska Hagritay has ascended the genre. And yet, a show like Angie Tribeca is actually right up Christopher Meloni’s ally (I mean you’ve seen the Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp right?). He’s on my shortlist for future guest stars, for sure!

The thing is, Angie Tribeca gets by without most of that because it’s core cast takes the gags very seriously and somehow, over the course of 25 hours, things just get funnier and funnier. I wasn’t just sad to see the binge-watch end because I’m always sad when a binge ends. I was sad because it meant that nothing would be as funny as this show for the rest of the night let alone the rest of the week.

Rashida Jones & Hayes MacArthur as Angie Tribeca & Jay Geils in Angie Tribeca Photo: TBS

It has everything that makes a good comedy a classic. To the point that when Jay Geils (Hayes MacArthur) and Chet Atkins (Jere Burns) go undercover as pilots on a plane I was expecting typical Airplane! jokes and they somehow took the concept and made it fresh. Which is the best part because the show itself is sort of like Police Academy 2 (and the original but see I can make jokes too!) and Naked Gun.

I stopped wondering what Steve Carrell was doing with a show like this, or questioning if I’d just seen Melora Hardin or if Bill Murray really did make a “Call me maybe” joke. This is exactly the kind of show Steve and Nancy Carrell would do. It’s not just a parody it’s a homage. Most notably, to Get Smart.

So maybe a shoe-phone isn’t as great a gag anymore, but sometimes you need a break from the critically-acclaimed stuff and you just need to laugh. It’s nice to have that with a bunch of actors who very clearly want the same thing. Rashida Jones is Angie Tribeca, and maybe this won’t be her Breaking Bad, but you have to remember that Bryan Cranston did way more comedy before he did anything like the AMC hit. Sometimes I think we watch TV expecting too much from it. This isn’t that and it’s okay not being that.

Cas knows what’s up! There should be a word for too much excellent binging!
Misha Collins as Catiel in Supernatural (11.06) Photo: CW Gif: habitatfordeanwinchester via Tumblr

Every generation has a show and/or movie that relies on sight gags and purely hilarious lines that make no sense out of context. If we don’t mix it up a little though, we take the time that we’re in front of the TV too seriously. At some point, we all need a break, and something that tickles your funny bone is a great way to do that.

Get Smart lasted five seasons. Angie Tribeca jumped the gun (probably literally at some point I may be slightly oxygen deprived from laughing too much to remember) on season one and is starting up season two in a week. It might not be as much fun as getting to watch everything in one day. It’s amazing how strong the instant gratification is for a show that doesn’t require you to see every episode. But you should watch at least one or five or all of it! Maybe this is Rashida Jones’ Breaking Bad. Angie Tribeca doesn’t need to be the one who knocks, she just needs to keep doing what she’s good at. Which is not her job, she’s actually surprising bad at her job, like we should worry.

Rashida Jones as Angie Tribeca in Angie Tribeca Photo: TBS Gif: mayawiig via Tumblr

Angie Tribeca returns Monday January 25th at 9:30/8:30c on TBS.

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