Kevin Can F**k Himself
Worcester Massachusetts is not a great town – at least that’s what Kevin Can F*** Himself would have viewers believe. It’s grey, lifeless, and the people who live there exist in repetitive, boring circles. This is the world that Allison McRoberts (Annie Murphy) inhabits. What’s more, it seems her husband Kevin (Eric Petersen) inhabits an entirely different one. Whilst Allison’s life is a single-camera, darkly comic existence, Kevin’s world is more akin to the multi-camera sitcoms of old. He moves from shenanigan to shenanigan in bright, contrasting colours, never noticing the extent of his wife’s misery.
This is how Kevin Can F*** Himself, the new show from AMC, is presented: switching between multi-camera, oversaturated sitcom and dark, single-camera drama. It’s a fun way to structure a show, and really allows for an exploration of themes, particularly that of the representation of women. It also paves the way for some great moments of contrast, as Allison’s fraught existence clashes constantly with the happy-go-lucky life of her husband. It’s a high-concept premise and, whilst it does feel a little drawn-out at times, the instances when the two realities meet are wonderful.
The show’s strongest feature is Annie Murphy as Allison. She is consistently captivating and endearing, creating a wonderfully multifaceted character that is impossible not to invest in. Coming hot off the back of an Emmy win for her performance in Schitt’s Creek, Murphy has taken on the dramatic demands of Allison with aplomb. So good is her performance in fact, that any scene without her feels a little drained of intensity.
At the heart of the show is a commentary on gender roles in sitcoms which, at its best, juxtaposes supposedly innocent moments that audiences all take for granted with the horrific reality that Allison faces. These scenes are wonderfully self-reflexive and biting. At other times however it can feel a little unfocused and meandering, still looking to find its feet. Hopefully, in future seasons, it will be able to strike a better balance and refine its focus.
Overall, Kevin Can F*** Himself is a show that rests on the laurels of an interesting concept and an excellent leading performance. This results in elements of brilliance and times where it can begin to drag. It is to be hoped that it will get picked up for at least a second season and can then build on a promising start.
Kevin Can F**k Himself is released on Amazon Prime Video on 27th August 2021.
Watch the trailer for Kevin Can F**k Himself here: