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Marc Maron returns to his old stomping grounds for an intimate special in which he takes stock of himself. More than ever, Maron is raw and hilariously honest as he dissects his own neuroses and self-loathing while providing outrageous anecdotes from his personal life, in which he starts to realize the hurt isn't real, it's just "Thinky Pain."
3.5 stars - you have to be in the mood for neuroticism.
I like Maron in sort of the same way I don't like Richard Lewis. Or rather, Maron strikes me as a funny, likable Richard Lewis. I've watched a number of episodes of his sitcom - no belly laughs, but pretty solid. His podcast is uneven but sometimes just really good, both lol funny and intellectually chewy. For a guy who loves to talk about himself - alot - he still strikes me as a witty, funny likable guy so I'm willing to forgive a certain sameness to his comedy... the guy who obsesses about his self-obsession but underneath it all is a smart guy terrified by the fact he isn't 'very' smart.
This special is uneven, could have used some editing, but is a very solid three stars, and as I've said in other reviews, I wish there were a half star option because I'd bump him up to a 3.5. A rental option would be nice as I don't think this is a special you'd rewatch, but Maron's an interesting and unique comic and certainly better than most of the stand up specials on offer.
Vapid, Trite, & Lazy
Marc Maron used to critique big things - systems of power, institutions, demagogues etc. That time has passed. Today Marc censors thoughts about the outside world and instead focuses on his inner emotional life of insecurity and petty narcissism. This choice allows him to move away from the margins he use to occupy deflating rightwing ideology and status quo ideals and instead allows him to occupy the place of mainstream acceptance and credit he's always lusted for. But this Faustian bargain has stripped Maron's material of any meaning greater than himself leaving his comedy largely impotent and boring. Marc now sharpens his polemic knife against straw men - cartoonish stereotypical images of vegans and atheists when he dares venture a criticism towards something greater than himself. Ironically Marc now has the largest audience he ever has - yet - has nothing to say for fear of alienating them or having to take a position against the mainstream or status quo he so desperately wishes to be apart of and engage in. To put it succinctly his comedy cannot surmount its irrelevance largely due to its own cowardice.
Raw and Intimate
Maron is an open book to his audience and entrusts his most personal life experiences with them. His quick thinking, comedic spite, and self-critique is enjoyable for those who enjoy a darker shade of comedy.