Critic Consensus: While I'm Dying Up Here hints at untapped potential and deserves praise for authentic period detail, its attempts at affecting drama are undermined by subpar writing and a muddled focus.
I'm Dying Up Here: Season 1 Trailers & Photos
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In Season 1 of "I'm Dying Up Here," the comics of Goldie Herschlag's Hollywood comedy club learn the hard way that success isn't all it's cracked up to be. As one of their number finally gets his big break, newcomers Adam (RJ Cyler), Ron (Clark Duke) and Eddie (Michael Angarano) try to find their place in the group. Meanwhile, Cassie (Ari Graynor) flirts with controversy, Goldie (Melissa Leo) pitches an idea with potential at the weekly poker game that gets Eli (Jeffrey Nordling) excited, and… More
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Its heavy traffic of ego, rivalry, and preposterousness packs its own kind of guilty addiction.
The era's takes on race, gender, Vietnam and other aspects of social upheaval all get hashed out, as does the psychological deformity that compel some poor bastards to seek laughter for a living.
While Dying does manage to hit a few humorous and sometimes poignant beats along the way, the sheer weight of the numerous characters and their problems/flaws drags the show under water where it isn't able to recover.
I'm Dying Up Here... brings to light these private aspects of standup comedians with an intimacy that substantiates their public lives as performers.
It's a perfect climax to a story about the artistic process of inside out clowns. "WE GET IT!" I belt out, bored, at my laptop screen. The thing is, though, I TOTALLY get it.
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