The best half hour of comedy in 2020… is about scaffolding?

A show with the title Dhansu on television on Friday (“How to with john wilson“) Devoted an episode to the most boring subject imaginable (Machan) and produced the most engaging comedy I’ve seen in years.

The original new series, which aired Friday night on HBO, has no star or traditional storyline, and its main character is John Wilson. Who co-writes, directs and describes, Stays offscreen. It is a small miracle to create a touching, hilarious and occasional self-portrait.

Like Best Art, “How with John Wilson” defines gradation, but as a critic, I cannot resist. It connects with the growing style Documentary comedy, Which uses journalistic tools (such as interviews with real people) for comic ends. The best-known example, like the work of Sacha Baron Cohen, is a streak of brutality that is absent here. Wilson’s sensations are more humane than harsh, poetic.

On the surface, he is scouring practical guides (the title of an episode “How to Cook the Perfect Risotto”), but it is merely an outline for the multitude of variations lying in the scenes of New York street life. His work resembles the remote segment produced by Meryl Marco in the early years of “Late Night with David Letterman” and, more so, the tender and wandering narrative of “Nathan for You”, star of which star Nathan Fader Wilson produced the show . .

The show is far more abstract than either of those pioneers; It lies in deep dive into idiosyncratic subjects. Friday’s episode examined wooden and metal structures throughout the city to protect people from head injuries. Scaffolding seems like a mundane subject, but through close attention, Wilson proves otherwise, considering it to be a source of safety and danger, a blight and a work of art, a big business, a cinematic cliche and paralysis is. What really fascinates him about scaffolding, and is the main preoccupation of the show, is how easily something short-lived becomes permanent.

In a pocket history, Wilson explains how the death occurred A new yorker in 1979 Created an $ 8 billion-per-year industry that has built hundreds of miles of structures. Scaffolding workers, he argues, “do more to change the landscape of New York than any other group.” He has included numerous images in real-world versions of metal rods and blankets in green wood, including a strange series of juxtapositions of famous buildings in films that bear the attention of a 2003 documentary essay. “La plays himself.” Wilson’s collections cater to the city’s great revolutionaries.

The comedy is desert-dry old school wit. His deadpainted statement spoils the voice of the God of many documentaries, who often hum, shake gears, tripping over themselves. His voice is soft, even more uncertain, as if he is thinking out loud. He delights in mismatch: when he says “Dear Businesses,” he shows a chase bank. Some jokes are so cliched that they are easy to miss. When he is denied entry to a scaffolding conference, Wilson says: “I was crushed.”

There is also humor out of magical realism. Wilson has a knack for finding bizarre and buzzing moments in the everyday: an air-conditioner swinging through a window is as terrible as a horror film. A woman on a park bench calmly engulfed in birds is still an image from a child’s dream. An overweight person suddenly kicked the air, shining with the grace of Bruce Lee.

These stunning shots, packing a feature film of suspense every few seconds, come with a dizzying pace, and are presented almost offhand, his Camarov aiming for a vérité vibe. In the beginning, Wilson asks a stranger if he has strong views on the loft and the response is not a surprise. The camera then dwells on it for an extra beating, a strange awkwardness and mockery throughout this entire venture.

At the core of the episode is a highly relevant question for a moment when people are debating whether to take the train home for the holidays: what price protection? Everyone’s going to die in New York, Wilson tells us at the beginning of the show, and there are times when he argues that what started as a great interest to avoid injury is now primarily commercial Driven by interests. Scaffolding can kill pornographic scenes, cluttered streets and even when it breaks. “You can waste your life keeping it safe,” he says, “and the real danger is not what you expect it to be.”

But this is not a polymorphism against security measures. You can also find arguments for the beauty and necessity of scaffolding and hear about it from pedestrians. There is a BDSM story about it, told with the fact that it actually takes place in New York. There is a healthy realism from a blind man who says that it is difficult to go around the city of Machan. He says, “Work with what you’ve got.”

Wilson is an entertainer and he is not trying to convince. And when he makes it seem as if he is just a lucky and frequent journeyman, a aimless wanderer who stumbles into these crazy stories and beautiful images, this is the real prank. Look closely and aim at every shot. The home-movie beauty hides the trend of a Hollywood showman.

The first thing Wilson shows us is a grating image of a wire above a Mercedes-Benz on the streets of New York and the final shot is of a skyscraper being blown up. It sounds like an action film, but it is about an inaction film, which is on the focus and dangers of not changing.

Staying away from the camera, John Wilson makes the city like a focus, but the more you look, the more prominent the voice becomes. He is an impossibly romantic man who sees excitement in the tedium, beauty in the trash, and possibility everywhere. The show is more personal than political. Wilson emerges as an obsessive bachelor who wants to have a relationship. This becomes most apparent in the sixth and final episode, when the crowded city streets turn into Kovid-19 and it invades the picture and she becomes concerned about the health of her elderly landowner. We also get a glimpse of her romantic life, but in Friday’s episode, Machan is a metaphor for her lack of commitment in her work life.

In a tangent, he explains how to survive in the city, he created money-making infomercials for products like Roast Beef – atopia. He said that he knew he was “helping to make some of the most vulgar material on the planet”, but justified it by saying that it was only for a short time. Then they did it for five years.

Money jobs can act like a kind of scaffolding, providing brief support, but sticking with them for a long time and they can become central to what you do and who you are. Life is fun that way, especially these days when any kind of security seems elusive and nothing is guaranteed. With these black currents, John Wilson feels like sadness, not despair. Even he finds hope in strange places, and an unexpected reminder: We are all temporary at last.

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