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The Sarah Silverman Program

  • Film
  • 4 out of 5 stars
WE LOVE JEW Silverman scores in her first sitcom.
WE LOVE JEW Silverman scores in her first sitcom.

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

If Sarah Silverman had made it big with her 1993--94 SNL stint, she could have catapulted into a hackneyed single-gal sitcom like those that sidetracked Margaret Cho and Ellen DeGeneres and stifled the unique voices that got them noticed in the first place. Fortunately for the world, Silverman’s late fame has allowed the unrestrained comic to make her first series a self-created one that features plenty of raw, sometimes surreal irreverence, while nonetheless sticking to the sitcom playbook.

Like Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David before her, Silverman plays a character named after herself, a jobless gal who sponges off her sister/roommate (Laura Silverman, her real-life sib) and hangs out with a slovenly gay couple (Brian Posehn and Steve Agee) whose lives revolve around action figures and video games.

The engine that drives the series is the faux Silverman’s spectacular egomania—she’s so blind to the needs of others that she frequently comes across like a petulant toddler occupying the body of a 36-year-old. It’s a tendency that emerges in the debut, as she torpedoes her sister’s budding relationship with a cop, and goes into overdrive in the second episode, when she has a one-night stand with God (Tucker Smallwood), then kicks the Lord out of bed and denies Him her cell number when the morning after comes. The collision of sitcom conventions and Silverman’s trademark taboo-oriented humor produces a show that plays like That Girl meets Wonder Showzen, with a healthy dash of Comedy Central’s short-lived absurdist comedy Stella. Stella might have been too weird to last, but it didn’t have the advantage of a star accurately described in the second episode as “kind of Jewy, totally hot—but not out-of-your-league hot....”—Andrew Johnston

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