HBO // 2010 // 300 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // December 13th, 2011
Small animation budget, hearty laughs.
Tim returns for another series of bizarre circumstances and embarrassing encounters...and it's just as funny as the first go-round.
Tim (voiced by creator Steve Dildarian) is just a regular guy in a crappy job, with no money, friends that consistently get him into trouble, and a girlfriend who doesn't seem to like him all that much.
Ten episodes of aggressively wry humor, with each show broken into two installments. This season, Tim adopts a circus envelope and feeds it a falafel, befriends a stripper in Atlantic City, introduces a Boy Scout troop to the joys of Central Park and transvestite prostitutes, hustles a math teacher in pool, gets sued by an escape artist for saving his life, and is rescued by a female firefighter.
Watch this show. It is funny.
I could stop there, but I'm not feeling that succinct. Though a brisk description would be appropriate for The Life and Times of Tim -- a show that is minimalistic and Spartan in how it does business, yet undeniably successful in generating comedy -- creator/writer/director/actor Steve Dildarian has crafted something that strikes a unique enough tone to separate itself from the flurry of its animated brethren.
The Life and Times of Tim is not a cartoon that hangs its comic hat on gags, non sequiturs, or boundary-pushing humor. The laughs are all earned and the typically surreal situations that Tim finds himself embroiled in are the culminations of organic development. The details are often absurd, but in this odd world they seem to make sense.
The fulcrum the comedy is perched upon is Tim himself. He's essentially a straight man the whole way through, commenting on the ridiculous events that swirl around him. Granted, he often causes much of it, but that doesn't make his stunned reactions any less hysterical. Dildarian plays Tim perfectly, hitting his lines with a deadpan tone, and the juxtaposition of a reasonably normal man ensconced in insanity -- be it from the results of his own actions (agreeing to take a Boy Scout troop on a hike because a strange man at work challenge his manhood) or through happenings beyond his control (some Jewish friends buy an Irish bar and blame him for their misfortune).
Is the show a nonstop laugh riot? No. That's how Dildarian sets it up. There are plenty of jokes littered throughout, but this is a series driven by its scenarios. Some episodes are stronger than others, but when Tim hits it is hilarious.
HBO's DVD set is basic: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 Dolby Surround, and a brief making-of featurette.
It doesn't get the ink of HBO's other sterling programming, but The Life and Times of Tim can bring the funny.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
* English (CC)
Running Time: 300 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Official Site