tek's rating: ½

Maya & Marty, on NBC
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In May 2014, NBC aired a special called The Maya Rudolph Show, which could have become an ongoing variety series. In May 2016, this retooled series premiered, with Rudolph joined by cohost Martin Short, as well as Kenan Thompson and various guest stars. It seems to me kind of more like a sketch show than a variety show, even though there are musical segments in addition to the sketches. Still, it's done more in the style of an old school variety show (the kind of shows that died out before my time), so whatever. Anyway... I didn't like everything about the show; I mean, I didn't really dislike anything about it, but I found some of the banter kind of "meh." I appreciated that it was necessary in order for it to be the kind of show they wanted to make, but it just wasn't always my cup of tea. Which is not to say there wasn't any banter that I did enjoy, because there was.

But what I really liked about the show were the sketches. Again, not all of them. For one thing, Marty played his character Jiminy Glick in one sketch every episode. I was vaguely familiar with the character from at least one other show Marty was in, like fifteen years before this one. But I never watched much of that, because I just found the character annoying. I think I enjoyed him a bit more on this show, though I couldn't say whether it's because my comedic sensibilities have changed, or what. But I still didn't like the character very much, and could only stand him in moderation. And of course it helped that Jiminy (a fictional talk show host) played well off his celebrity guests, or rather, they played well off him. (Or maybe it went both ways.) But aside from Jiminy's recurring sketch, I thought most of the one-off sketches each week were fairly good, and some of them were amazingly funny.

Also some of the musical segments were pretty awesome. (The ones that involved guest stars, more so than the kitschy duets between Maya and Marty, or the trios with them and Kenan, though those were okay.) Because it wasn't generally your typical rock or pop stars, like you'd see on some other shows. Some of the show's musical numbers included three boys reprising their own cover of "The Schuyler Sisters" from Hamilton; and the Broadway cast of Shuffle Along; and Miley Cyrus doing a very un-Miley performance; Maya doing an amusing duet with Tina Fey; Maya and Emma Stone doing a cover of Erato's cover of Robyn's "Call Your Girlfriend"; and probably some other things I've forgotten.

Anyway, the show ran for just six episodes, which I think was a decent number, for a show like this. I don't know if it will be renewed for another season, but I rather hope it will be. I could definitely enjoy another six episodes, next summer....

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