Life As A Dark Comedy

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Showtime dark comedy ‘Back to Life’ among top viewing choices -

Death is the centerpiece for lots of dark comedy. You can use it like in Death at a Funeral , and turn a sad event into a place of hijinks.

The point is, death is your friend. So let people die as much as you can, and find the laughs.

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Fargo is great at this kind of story. It even puts dead people into wood chippers. Or what about a dark comedy like Defending Your Life? Or The Good Place?

If you haven't figured it out, dark comedy is an excellent place to just be a freaking weirdo. No idea is too weird to inject comedy into it.

Think about Life of Brian , which is just the story of Jesus but hilarious. Or Full Metal Jacket , which is about the Vietnam war. This is your turn to do anything, so what do you want to do? The thing about a black comedy is that it thrives on unique tones. You can do it broadly, it can be close to reality, it can even walk toward drama and all the way to farce.

Filmmakers like the Coen brothers are masters of doing it in all possibilities. They're able to work biblically, with A Serious Man , and, finally, they find comedy in violence with Fargo , which we mentioned earlier. Oh, and Blood Simple! So dare to take any genre and add some dark comedy to it!

Dark Humor Quotes

A constant stress. So are his co-workers, who are like so many flies he is forever swatting away, including the company security guard with blackmail in mind played by Chicago visual artist Tony Fitzpatrick and yet another co-worker Marcus Toji suffering from a Tavner-inflicted brain injury. That last one may raise some hackles. The guy's disability, with its infantilized affect and faulty memory, is played for laughs as well as a plot complication that offers a blunt sometimes bluntly funny look at what it means to be an inconvenience when John is nearby.

But considering how rare it is to see a character with any kind of disability portrayed on screen add to the fact that he is played by an Asian actor , to see it used as grist for the dark comedy mill — well, it's touchy.

Dark comedy on everyday office life - The Papers - Short film by Kalle Kotila

Representation matters. John's only real allies on the ground are his brother, a dopey congressman with a predilection for tracksuits Michael Chernus and a colleague from work named Dennis, who is pulled unwittingly into the spy world with mixed results. For a story so fixated on the bonds between men, it is fitting that there's a bit of meta casting with show creator Conrad slotting real-life brother Chris Conrad in the role of the well-meaning, doofusy, overeager Dennis — a riff on the pesky younger brother trope — upon whom subtle and overt humiliations are visited.

Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini are the Life of Netflix's Dark Comedy Series, Dead to Me

He is also one of the few people to really come through for John when it matters. The storyline is a domino effect of mundane tasks and adrenaline-fueled improvisations, and the stakes feel ridiculous but real.

The way Conrad has structured things, there's a propulsive energy undergirding much of it, from the inane office politics, to John's covert actions, to the ever-present despondency he tries to keep at bay by retreating to a pile of oversized concrete pipes somewhere on the corporate campus of rusted-out buildings the show's director of photography is Jim Whitaker, who makes the most of these gorgeous shots or jumping on his speed and cycling morosely through the night.

This is John's dilemma in a nutshell. He's disconnected from everything. He has a wife Kathleen Munroe back home whom he never sees, but it's such an underwritten character that she is little more than a fill-in-the-blank spouse with no inner life, whereas John is all inner life. At heart, the show is a portrait of men asserting themselves and jockeying for position.

Ultimately it is all balanced on Dorman's inward performance, which mostly works. He wears the expression of a guy just told he won't have hot water for a week. I'm in a funk at the moment, and this is exactly what I needed. Off to binge the season. You can check out the full and updated list of what's going to be coming to Netflix this May here. Sigrid joins us on Girls With Goals this week Click play below to listen now! People can't get enough of Netflix's newest dark comedy, Dead to Me. Keeley Ryan. Looking for something new to watch?