One of the most pleasant surprises of the year, ”Bupkis” is former ‘not ready for prime time player’ Pete Davidson’s ”Wonder Years” by way of Red Bull approach to the semi-autobiographical sitcom.
Playing an embroidered version of himself, the funnyman and actor – he’s been popping up in films like The Suicide Squad and Bodies, Bodies, Bodies, while headlining heftier fare like The King of Staten Island – looks back on his littler years while giving audiences a aperture into his not-so unusual but sometimes embarrassing (the first episode opens with a very funny, in-your-face orgasm scene that gives American Pie a run for it’s sticky crust) life as an up-and-comin’ entertainer that still lives at home.
Combining grounded realism with absurd elements and much fluffing of the finer details, ”Bupkis” is Davidson as we regular “SNL” and social media regulars know him best – an unfiltered, say-it-like-it-is likeable but untamed goofball that’s shaping up to be the next Sandler.
Davidson is a hoot on the series, accompanied with weighty support by old pros Edie Falco as his devoted, long-suffering Staten Island-bred mother and Joe Pesci (!) as his cranky, cursing grandfather. There’s a fat supporting cast of terrific players, including Bobby Canavale, Al Gore, John Mulaney, Charlamagne Tha God, Machine Gun Kelly, Steve Buscemi and Jon Stewart too.
The tone of some of the earlier episodes is a bit uneven as the created series finds its footing but once it’s off and running, ”Bupkins” runs marathons around most other half-hour laffers currently on the air. Have a needle and thread on hand, you might need to stitch yourself up after this hilarious offering.