HBO // 2009 // 300 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // March 3rd, 2010
"I don't like where this is going."
The Life and Times of Tim is an animated comedy from Steve Dildarian, who went from advertiser copy writer to big time HBO showrunner -- and a few minutes with Tim reveals why.
Who is Tim? And why should we care about his life and times? He's a dry-witted, underachiever, who tends to find himself placed into ridiculous situations, typically as a direct result of poor decision-making. Inevitably, his choices backfire -- even if he's trying to be a relatively good boyfriend/coworker/employee -- and the awkwardness and horror compound on each other, usually leaving Tim humiliated and confused.
Which is, of course, funny.
The first season hits DVD just before the second season rolls out for broadcast and includes 10 half-hour episodes, each installment broken into two separate stories.
Funny show and worth a look. The understated animation -- really understated -- matches creator Steve Dildarian's comedy style; a dry, ironic approach that has Tim engage in increasingly counterproductive decision-making, while casually observing how far up s -- -- creek he is.
It's difficult to describe. The plotting borrows a bit from its HBO comedy brother, Curb Your Enthusiasm, with its steady build-up of negative circumstances that impacts the protagonist, helpless to defuse the situation and typically making it much, much worse. Tim is certainly not as manic and profanity-laden as Larry David's efforts, but they definitely share a common ancestor. A few of my favorites include Tim's boss making him a Mexican to comply with the company's new diversity trend, Tim's encounter with a awkwardly-hip Catholic priest on a swinging Friday night, an exchange with Tim's girlfriend's grandmother that ends -- shockingly -- in elderly breast fondling, an awkward meet-up with the future in-laws while a prostitute demands her money and, finally, the legendary raped-by-a-bum episode, which I can't do any justice with a synopsis.
I laughed loud and hard more than a few times during these highlights, but it still has to be said, Tim can be uneven. Some episodes had me in tears and some had me just watching listlessly. That's the risk Dildarian runs with such a wry comedy style. Also, I would recommend spacing out episode viewings because going through with a monster marathon proves exhausting and doesn't serve the humor well. Stagger the shows and I think you'll enjoy Tim a lot more.
The disc: a clean 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen that renders the simple animation well, 5.1 surround and ten animated shorts for extras (some behind-the-scenes stuff would have been appreciated).
Uneven, but spleen-bustingly hilarious at times, The Life and Times of Tim still earns a recommendation and some anticipation of where the show goes next.
Not Guilty. I actually do like where this is going.
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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: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Short Films