Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 9, 2017)
Via her film Trainwreck and a mix of other appearances, 2015 marked Amy Schumer’s breakout year – and one that made her seemingly omnipresent in the popular culture. 2017 brings her back to the big screen with Snatched, but 2016 found Schumer largely on the sidelines, perhaps in an attempt to avoid overexposure.
Schumer’s only major work in 2016 came from Season Four of her Comedy Central sketch series Inside Amy Schumer, a collection of shows that appears on this two-DVD set. This package includes all 9 of Season Four’s episodes. The synopses come from the series’ official website.
The World’s Most Interesting Woman in the World: “Amy gets a gynecological exam from Congress, shills for a product called Yo-Puss and pitches her idea for a historical musical to Lin-Manuel Miranda.”
As expected, the title sketch spoofs the Dos Equis commercials, and it does so in a moderately amusing manner. However, the character feels more appropriate for Melissa McCarthy and Schumer doesn’t totally connect to her.
Other sketches fare better. Though a little predictable, one in which male politicians make medical decisions for Amy scores topical points, and the Miranda scene offers laughs, though it – like some others – runs too long. The show’s overall impact seems mostly positive.
Welcome to the Gun Show: “Amy hosts a home shopping show for gun enthusiasts, faces the wrath of a new Twitter feature and lands a role on Game of Thrones.”
As she mentions in this show, a shooting occurred at a screening of Schumer’s movie Trainwreck, and we feel the impact of that event here, as gun issues dominate “Welcome”. I sympathize with Schumer’s positions but the result turns into an awful lot of heavy-handed sermonizing without much comedic value. A Liam Neeson guest spot amuses, but most of the episode fizzles.
”Brave”: “Amy wins an Oscar, learns the secret to getting her male colleagues to listen to her and advertises a nanny service for women with philandering husbands.”
“’Brave’” mainly looks at the failings of men, and it gives us some good bits, largely due to guests. The Oscar ceremony throws in four notable actors and delights, and a spoof of fantasy sports uses some pro athletes. That one also gives us some laughs, but like many Inside sketches, it runs too long.
Probably the episode’s best bit comes from a running gag about how men screw their nannies. Yeah, the theme seems trite, but it gives us comedy. Though still spotty, “’Brave’” probably turns into the best show so far.
By the way, is it a stretch for me to believe that they named a character “Werzbowski” as a nod toward Private Wierzbowski from Aliens?
Madame President: “Amy faces a personal obstacle as the first female president, discovers a way to hide her tampons while she's at the office and interviews a diagnosed sociopath.”
Though prior episodes have tended to lampoon negative tendencies of men, “President” goes after women, and it does so with decent results. The title sketch fares reasonably well, and one about clothing options for women manages some creative twists. These lead to another inconsistent but largely positive show.
Madonna/Whore: “Amy has trouble figuring out which persona to adopt in bed, gripes with her friends about how long it's been since she's had sex and goes on a Sex and the City bus tour.”
As I’ve noted, some Inside sketches don’t know when to quit, and that trend permeates “Whore”. Some of the segments boast promise, but they just don’t know when to quit.
Fame: “Amy hosts a talk show from her luxury airship, gets Katfished and finds herself unable to resist the allure of a bad boy chef.”
This episode partly follows the theme implied by its title, and those parts amuse, especially when Amy makes fun of her status as a pampered celebrity. A few notable guests like Jake Gyllenhaal add fun to the rest, but this turns into a spotty show after a good start. In addition, Amy’s friend Jess – with whom she chats at the end – may be the most annoying person on the planet.
Psychopath Test: “Amy appears on a terrible sitcom, plays a cute character in a phone commercial and compares birth plans with other moms-to-be.”
While most episodes come with some real strengths, “Test” lacks any standout sketches. A few laughs still result but the overall impact seems weaker than usual.
Everyone For Themselves!: “Amy can't get her ob-gyn to say ‘vagina’, shares doubts about her baby with her Lamaze class and tries out an extremely casual new dating app.”
Inside rebounds reasonably well with “Everyone”, as it comes with some pretty good sketches. Missi Pyle gives us a good guest spot and a spoof of dating apps adds comedy to a generally strong show.
Rubbing Our Clips: “The Inside Amy Schumer team comes together for a Real Housewives-style reunion hosted by Andy Cohen.”
Other than that reality series theme, this show consists of snippets from prior programs. The Real Housewives stuff offers some amusement, but clip shows suck, especially when they come for a series that only did eight episodes this “season”. I can forgive a clip show for a series that needs to produce 20-plus shows a year, but this one just seems super-lazy.
I thought Season Three of Inside was up and down, and the same impression comes from Season Four. While it comes with some good laughs, the comedy lacks consistency.