As much as we’ve been excited for the premiere of My Brother, My Brother and Me on comedy streaming service Seeso, we were also pretty scared. Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy have been dishing out goofs and advice on their ever popular comedy podcast for almost seven years now, but we’ve been concerned that the step to TV might fail to capture what makes MBMBaM so great.
In a surprising change of format from the podcast, the TV version of MBMBaM only tackles one question an episode. In the one we saw today, the McElroy brothers try to come up with a convincing argument for listener Dan to be allowed a tarantula in the house.
Half an hour seems like a pretty long time for a question on MBMBaM, but the amount of different scenes and segments really helps to break the episode up. The boys visited Huntington mayor Steve Williams, taught us the value of not hitting each other, and still found time for a catch up with McElroy patriarch Clint.
You know the animated clips fans of MBMBaM will often make illustrating some of their favourite clips from the podcast? That’s exactly what the TV show feels like. Even without the freedom of only being grounded in audio, the TV show manages to be as pacy and outlandish as you’d expect from the McElroys.
A combination of having a great studio and knowing when not to use it comes across as key in making the show feel less like a purely visual version of the podcast. But don’t get us wrong, this does feel like My Brother, My Brother and Me.
It’s the subtleties that do it. From the flexible camerawork that feels more improvised than planned at points, through to The Long Winter’s ever familiar It’s a Departure as theme, it’s obvious that this show was made with love and care for what makes MBMBaM, well, MBMBaM.
While not everything you love about the podcast appears in the TV show, don’t be fooled into thinking a partnership with Seeso has changed anything that makes MBMBaM so special. It’s the ever present kindness, optimism, and obvious love between the McElroys that made their podcast so popular, and the TV show can boast the exact same merits.
The McElroys might say “don’t do a hit”, but you know what? We think they’ve done one.
My Brother, My Brother and Me premieres for good on February 23 on Seeso.