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I'm Dying Up Here - The Return - Review

In this week's episode of I'm Dying Up Here, Goldie had an idea, Cassie dumped Bill, Sparky died and Eddie sold deli meat. All in all, the show gave us another "meh" episode with strange storylines coming out of nowhere.

The thing is, I'm Dying Up Here does not seem to be anywhere near fixing its problems. It still struggles with pacing, its episodes keep dragging along, and it does not balance its characters very well. In "The Return," some regular characters like Sully were not even there at all, highlighting the shows issue with giving everyone the opportunity to shine. Instead, we had a random character named Melvin pay a visit to Ralph. The two of them served in Vietnam together and while Ralph moved on from the war, Melvin is still carrying its weight. That storyline would have been fine if it didn't feel so forced in a show that does not really have a place for it.

The same way, I'm Dying Up Here gave us a very random storyline for Adam this week, who seem to have found a part-time job with a "model agency" (a.k.a. he is working/living in a whorehouse). Don't get me wrong, it's nice that we are getting to see what the comics do for a living, when they are not performing for free at Goldie's, but couldn't we have found a better arc for Adam? While Eddie works at a deli and puts together an open mic for comics over there, Adam is cleaning bed sheets and listening to people have sex all over the house. It isn't clear yet how this storyline is going to advance Adam's story, but perhaps he will use what he knows about the model agency's clientele to get comedy gigs?

Meanwhile, Bill is still a jerk and Cassie finally realized that she deserves better. When a former member of the Goldie gang comes back around, Bill's eternal jealousy against successfull comics shows up once more, giving him another opportunity to be a dirt bag. Nick, played by Jake Lacy, returns to Goldie's after performing in other parts of the country because he has landed a gig on the Tonight Show. Him and Bill seem to have a history and the animosity between the two is obvious very early on. However, Nick seems to be a vaguely new version of Clay, the comic who died in the pilot of the show. His character has a lot of baggage and does not, for now, seem to bring much to the already full plate that is I'm Dying Up Here.

The only aspect of this episode that seems to be breathing a bit more life into the show is the fact that Goldie is about to pitch an idea for an all-female comedy show to CBS. Called "Girls are funny, too" this show's idea came up during one of her poker game nights. It's a neat idea that should bring some more conflict into the series, but the fact remains that I'm Dying Up Here is hanging on by a very thin thread, and that now halfway through its first season, the show is on a dangerous path to losing the viewer's interest all together quite soon, unless it finds a way to pick up the pace in its second half.

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