REVIEWED: SEASON 1 (ALL EPISODES) | WHERE TO WATCH: ALL 4
Over the seventy-year history of network television, a number of staples have emerged which could be considered media in their own right. The soap opera, the documentary, the crime procedural… all these have been explored and parodied, played straight, and presented in a post-modern way. But none of these is as beloved, or as ripe for exploration as the sitcom, and the men behind Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! may have brought us a meta classic.
Beef House is the story of Eric, an unemployed man who lives with his wife and his best friend Tim. Oh, and three old men they call the Beef Boys. This unusual situation is not always the root of the comedy; rather Beef House uses sitcom staples like the sexy neighbour, the return of an old flame, the addition of a child to the cast, and projects them through the kaleidoscopic lens of Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim’s ridiculous, extreme, surreal world view.
The result is a delirious set of ten-minute classics, at once familiar and alien, the tropes of the sitcom all recognisable but in ways they’ve rarely been presented. If Beef House has a close cousin, it’s the Reeves and Mortimer show House of Fools, but there’s something unique about Tim and Eric that long-time fans of their antics will attest to, and that makes Beef House a rare treasure.
This isn’t a show for everyone – there’s a lot of toilet humour and stabbing – but everyone should give Beef House a shot. Heidecker and Wareheim may just have found the right outlet for their surreal, repulsive humour – let’s hope Adult Swim lets them explore it.