You might think that a show about stand-up comedians would, you know, make you laugh a time or two. But ... morose, cliché-riddled new drama I'm Dying Up Here ... is more likely to make you hate yourself, everyone around you and humanity in general.
Too little of it feels lived-in or genuine. And that's a fatal flaw that extends to the overwritten scripts as well. For a show about being authentic, I'm Dying Up Here too often comes off as remarkably fake.
Making a drama about comedy can't be easy, but the strain is so evident in I'm Dying Up Here, a preachy period piece executive produced by Jim Carrey about desperate stand-ups in 1970s L.A., that it begins to resemble flop sweat.
The chatty, chummy passages of I'm Dying Up Here sit uneasily with the sudden left turns into scenes about addiction, racism, sexual violence, and PTSD, which clumsily romanticize the notion that all humor springs from pain.
Considered for what it really is-a sharply observed soap opera about a wholly debauched and dysfunctional group of friends preying upon their mutual insecurities-I'm Dying Up Here offers considerable viewing pleasure.