Baskets on FX Dysfunctional Absurdity

This is a sponsored post written by Gunaxin on behalf of FX

The Cheeto-in-Chief isnt the only clown in the news this week, as Zach Galifianakis returns to television on Thursday, in theFX comedy series,Baskets. Like anything that Galifianakis does,Basketsis a bit odd, if not absurd. If you missed the hilarious first season, heres a quick recap :

In the first season, theFX comedy series Basketsfollows Chip Baskets (Zach Galifianakis) who wants to fulfill his dream of being a French clownhowever, reality keeps interfering. Saddled with financial difficulties and facing an impenetrable language barrier, he moves back home to Bakersfield with high hopes. There, he is forced to confront his past while working as a rodeo clown and competing with his siblings (including his twin brother, Dale) for his mothers approval and affection.

If you didnt think it could get any odder, keep in mind that Chips mother is portrayed by Louie Anderson. The Baskets family is definitely a dysfunctional family but who are we to judge? Most of us can relate, at least a little bit. Heres a promo of Season 2 to give you an idea of what to expect :

In order to promote the Season 2 premiere coming up this Thursday, January 19th, the good folks at FX sent us a gift basket. Yeah, they sent out Baskets from Baskets, maybe thats too on the nose? It has left us both confused and intrigued, much like that video promo above. We have a feeling were going to have to start watching the show, if we want to understand the humorous references contained within.

Season 2 finds the Baskets family at its most fragile. Losing his wife and his rodeo job, Chip jumps on a train to get the hell out of Bakersfield, but a gang of gutter punks, the police and sudden death drag him right back into the drama he tried to escape. Dales marriage crumbles as his unrequited love affair with Martha deepens and Christine (Louie Anderson), who dedicated her life to her sons with little affection in return, takes her own happiness into consideration for onceand finds romance on the way.

Season 2 of Basketspremieres on FX this Thursday, January 19th at 10pm.

© 2017 Gunaxin Media LLCAboutLegalLinks

; Renewed; Season Two Set For Early 2017

Camila Cabellos Havana Headed For 4th Week As Pop Radios 1 Song

6ix9ines Gummo Rockets Into Top 15 On Billboard Hot 100

Khalids Saved Ranks As Rhythmic Radios Most Added Song

How Pop Radios 10 Most-Played Songs Are Performing On iTunes, Spotify

Looking At How Pop Radios Top 10 Songs Are Performing On iTunes Spotify

Looking At How Bad Liar, Strip That Down, Crying In The Club, Swish Swish Are Performing On Charts

Inspired Again Reminds Us That Miley Cyrus Is An Exceptional Artist (Review)

Cardi B Listed For December 20 Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Nick Jonas Appears On The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (Watch Now)

Harry Styles Hosted Tuesdays Late Late Show With James Corden

Coco Tops Third Another US Weekend Box Office

Coco Wins Second Consecutive US Weekend Box Office

Coco Leads US Weekend Box Office

US Weekend Box Office: Thor: Ragnarok Stays 1; Daddys Home 2, Orient Express Follow

FXs Baskets Renewed; Season Two Set For Early 2017

byBrian CantorFeb 23, 2016, 12:16 pm

FXs critically acclaimed Baskets has officially earned a second season.

The cable network formalized the renewal Tuesday morning, noting that the second string of episodes will premiere in early 2017.

Baskets is bold, brilliant and incredibly funny and we could not be happier with the reception its received in its breakout first season, said FXs Eric Schrier. Baskets brings together three of the most innovative comedic minds working today Zach [Galifianakis], Louis [CK] and Jonathan [Krisel] and we thank them, the rest of the creative team and the entire cast for everything theyve done for the series.

On a Live+7 basis, the first three Baskets episodes averaged 1.5 million total viewers, with 944,000 falling in the adults 18-49 demographic.

A particularly strong premiere performance inflates those figures, but FX obviously remains content with how the show has held up in the weeks since.

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked*

Ratings: FXs Atlanta Rises In Week Two

Ratings: FXs Atlanta Premieres Similarly To Baskets

Ratings: FXs Baskets Rises For Uncle Dad Episode

Ratings: FXs Baskets Holds In Demo, Slips In Live+Same-Day Viewership

Ratings: FXs Baskets Suffers Another Live+SD Decline

Ratings: FXs Baskets Declines in Week Two

Cardi B Listed For December 20 Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

; Premiere Sets the Stage For Brilliance (Review

Camila Cabellos Havana Headed For 4th Week As Pop Radios 1 Song

6ix9ines Gummo Rockets Into Top 15 On Billboard Hot 100

Khalids Saved Ranks As Rhythmic Radios Most Added Song

How Pop Radios 10 Most-Played Songs Are Performing On iTunes, Spotify

Looking At How Pop Radios Top 10 Songs Are Performing On iTunes Spotify

Looking At How Bad Liar, Strip That Down, Crying In The Club, Swish Swish Are Performing On Charts

Inspired Again Reminds Us That Miley Cyrus Is An Exceptional Artist (Review)

Cardi B Listed For December 20 Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Nick Jonas Appears On The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (Watch Now)

Harry Styles Hosted Tuesdays Late Late Show With James Corden

Coco Tops Third Another US Weekend Box Office

Coco Wins Second Consecutive US Weekend Box Office

Coco Leads US Weekend Box Office

US Weekend Box Office: Thor: Ragnarok Stays 1; Daddys Home 2, Orient Express Follow

FXs Baskets Premiere Sets the Stage For Brilliance (Review)

From its very first scene, FXs Baskets operates with a unparalleled sense of artistic clarity, purpose and confidence. It wholly understands its tone, completely defines what it wants to accomplish, and takes no shortcuts in pursuit of audience interest. It is what it is, and it is up to viewers to determine if what it is represents something to which they want to commit.

What that means is that Thursdays premiere episode is short on obvious laugh-out-loud moments. Scenes likely to drive easy laughter are minimal and have largely been teased in promotional clips (the drive-thru soda saga, for instance).

It also means that Thursdays premiere episode creates a layered, richly nuanced environment with layered, richly nuanced characters. In doing so, Baskets sets the stage to delivermeaningfulcharacter development,meaningfulnarrative progression,meaningfulemotion, andmeaningfullaughter as it embarks on its run.

Given that Baskets is ultimately a comedy, the lattermost point is particularly important. Discussion about what constitutes a comedy consistently emerges during awards season, but Baskets creators Louis CK, Zach Galifianakis and Jonathan Krisel undoubtedly accept laughter as an important ingredient.

The laughter they seek to generate, however, is organic and particular to the Baskets environment and its characters. It is not detached dialogue crafted for the sole purpose of inspiring Twitter trends and Tumblr memes; it is material that carries a specific tone, works in a specific context, and applies to specific characters. Baskets is not an abundant source of universal, quotable gags it is a window into certain off-beat characters and the interesting, funny, sad, and even devastatingly depressing events that comprise their lives.

Creating that window comes with a construction process and learning curve, which renders the first two or three episodes more intriguing than exciting, let alone gut-wrenchingly comedic.

By episodes four and five, Baskets has established its brilliant framework. Hilarity and poignancy begins to flow from even the most minute developments and details.

To put it simply, Thursdays Baskets premiere will potentially pique your curiosity. Episodes four and five will surely win your loyalty.

Strategically, that model may doom Baskets to life as another critically acclaimed but low-rated FX/FXX comedy. Galifianakis may possess some drawing power, but nothing about the marketing campaign has positioned Baskets as the light, escapist, accessible fare that tends to draw big ratings. The first few episodes compound that reality, ignoring cheap, viral-ready laughs in favor of stage setting and tonal development. By the time Baskets truly hits its stride in terms of comedy and excitement, its audience will have likely narrowed.

Its commercial performance will not, however, negate the shows artistic value. Thanks to the aforementioned creative framework, it is a fantastic addition to FXs already fantastic lineup of comedies.

While the potential for brilliance exists in the unique comedic voice and confident artistic vision, the performances play an invaluable role in unlocking that potential.

As lead character Chip Baskets, Galifianakis expertly walks the line between sympathetic and unlikable. The viewer will theoretically want to root for Baskets a man struggling to pursue his dream of becoming a clown, demeaned by his family, and shamelessly used by his green card-seeking French wife Penelope (Sabina Sciubba) but his obnoxious demeanor and sour perspective make it difficult to do so.

But while they may not actively root for Baskets, they will easily and meaningfully recognize the humanity of the shows central clown. The character is tailored perfectly to Galifianakis sensibilities, and the actor has no trouble playing the role with the necessary sincerity and nuance.

Galifianakis also plays Chips smarmy twin brother Dale, another seamless extension of his established comedy styling.

Martha Kelly plays meek insurance agent Martha, who develops an allegiance to the shows lead. Through a superb performance, Kelly projects cognizance of Baskets shortcomings and disrespectful tendencies but too little self-assurance, confidence, or mental strength to shake her support. Good-natured, naive and desperate for the purpose one derives from a meaningful relationship whether familial, friendly, or romantic Martha finds herself shamelessly currying the favor of a man whose favor should not carry any weight.

Galifianakis and Kelly are strong in their roles, but Louie Anderson is extraordinary. Donning drag, Anderson plays Baskets mother and delivers one of televisions most compelling performances.

There is no avoiding the surrealist element of the casting, but Baskets is too ambitious to indulge in that well. It neither milks the cheap sight gag nor attempts to make some convoluted sociological point. It simply presents Louie Anderson as Baskets mother and moves right along to developing the character within the shows universe.

The ambitious approach demands an incredible artistic investment from Anderson. If his commitment even slightly wavers, let alone veers toward the tongue-in-cheek, the characterization fails. The concept of a male actor playing Baskets mother is reduced to a comedic device.

Luckily, Anderson conquers the challenge. His performance is utterly immersive, negating the mere possibility that another actor male or female could have more authentically played the matriarchal character.

Andersons performance is hilarious and emotionally arresting. The most reliable source of humor throughout the five episodes screened for critics, the character is also at the center of poignant storylines in the fourth and fifth installments. It would be an utter travesty if an Emmy nomination does not result from this performance.

The excellent Baskets casting extends to guest and bit parts, but it is the aforementioned three leads who most shine. It is the aforementioned three leads who elevate Baskets from an intriguing concept into a resonant reality.

While Thursdays premiere is not the funniest half-hour in television history, it is not an affront to the idea of comedy. It is not a contention that half-hour comedies need not contain humor.

With its intricately constructed environment, dark tone, enthralling performances, and unique, oddball sense of humor, it is a contention that the best, most rewarding comedies make their humor count.

Thanks to the stage-setting of the first few episodes, Baskets indeed makes its humor count. By the fourth and fifth episodes, that high-quality humor is also of a high quantity.

Combined with the emotional poignancy resulting from adept characterization, the meaningful humor establishes Baskets as a truly great television series.

FXs Baskets premieres at 10PM on Thursday, January 21, 2016.

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked*

Ratings: FXs B
askets Declines in Week Two

Ratings: Baskets Premiere Draws 1.04M Viewers, Tops Comedians, SDRR

Ratings: FXs Atlanta Rises In Week Two

Ratings: FXs Atlanta Premieres Similarly To Baskets

FXs The Americans Finally Earns Major Emmy Nominations

People v. OJ Simpson Finale Looks Beyond The Verdict, Explores Impact On Key Characters

Cardi B Listed For December 20 Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon