The Key Ingredient

Key & Peele - Season 1, Episode 1

For all that I read and listen to about the entertainment world, plenty still escapes my notice. I'm all over those "25 New Shows For 2012!" kinds of lists, and plenty of podcasts I subscribe to generally give me a heads-up on shows to look out for, but I was going over some television write-ups the other day, and came across a glowing review for the first episode of a sketch comedy show on Comedy Central that I had never heard of. I was immediately intrigued, and when someone I follow on Twitter also started jabbering about how good the first episode of Key & Peele was, I knew I had to track it down.

I don't know much about the stars except their names are Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, they both used to be on MADtv, and they're both biracial. That's it. So I jumped into this episode with zero expectations, and wound up really enjoying it. Being biracial can lead to all sorts of awkward situations, and these guys really know how to mine it for laughs, from a skit about how black guys talk when other black guys are around to one about critics of President Obama complaining that he's not angry enough. Not that they just stick to racial issues; they knocked one out of the park with a skit about supposedly alpha males being terrified of their wives. The interstitial bits between skits when they're riffing in front of a studio audience are a little weak, but for the most part, everything worked well.

Just as I don't automatically declare a show a failure after a bad pilot, I can't deem this one an absolute success after a good one. Still, it gave me several belly laughs, which is all I can ask from a comedy, and I'll definitely be catching the next episode.

Episode 1: A-


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