TV Land’s Meta-Comedy Nobodies Hits Hollywood’s Funnybone

TV Land’s latest scripted series is an inside-Hollywood comedy told through the lens of showbiz outsiders. Nobodies, which premiered last week, follows three graduates of renowned improv troupe the Groundlings—Hugh Davidson, Larry Dorf, and Rachel Ramras, each playing versions of themselves—as they flounder in the entertainment industry while watching their friends reach stardom.

Davidson, Dorf, and Ramras play “nobodies,” and invite the world to watch their cringe-worthy attempts at fame.

Why should we care?

The show can laugh at itself.

In the premiere, the trio prepares to pitch their ridiculous script Mr. First Lady to studio executives. Rachel suggests the group name-drop Melissa McCarthy as soon as they begin pitching.

“We should say every single famous person that we’re friends with,” concludes Dorf, without a hint of sarcasm.

But it is exactly this lack of self-awareness that makes Nobodies so introspective. The creators roast their own famous friends—including co-producer Melissa McCarthy, who guest-stars in several episodes—as well as themselves.

According to Vulture, Nobodies is ideal for fans of “squirm comedy.”

“[Nobodies] is fun, zippy, and Seinfeldian in its ability to braid together plot based on various humiliations,” wrote Vulture.

That this crew has been collaborating for years adds a bit more comedic depth to the show. As Comedy Central’s Broad City and FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia have shown, working with best friends can add a level of authenticity to a sitcom.

“We’re a bunch of weird circus performers,” said McCarthy in an interview with USA Today. McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone play themselves in the show, and McCarthy told the magazine that fellow Groundlings alumni Dorf, Davidson, and Ramras attended their wedding.

“We’ve been pitching weird ideas to each other since the day we all met,” said McCarthy.

The Nobodies know a lot of “somebodies.”

In addition to McCarthy, Nobodies features cameos by Maya Rudolph, Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Bob Odenkirk, Jim Rash, and Nat Faxon. Like McCarthy, these stars are all friends with the main characters. They’ll serve as foils for the Nobodies to become famous.

Flavorwire calls this plot “sharp,” and included Nobodies in its Top 5 TV Picks for the week of March 24.

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Image courtesy of TV Land.

Nobodies is about universal human gaffes, not just those relevant to Hollywood.

Many people can relate to the pressures faced while moving up the career path. In the premiere, Rachel attaches McCarthy’s name to a ludicrous script, Mr. First Lady. She does so without getting McCarthy’s approval, after executives suggest the movie will be easier produce if McCarthy is already on board. The episode unfolds around the hijinks that follow, as the group performs damage control to save their careers and friendship with McCarthy.

It’s easy to imagine parallel scenarios in any industry—we’re living in a culture that can seem to encourage impressing others with our professional milestones and connections at nearly any cost.

New episodes premiere Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on TV Land. Follow Nobodies on Twitter: @NobodiesTV.

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