It’s a concept with a lot of potential, but unfortunately, that’s actually not what the show is about. Instead of trying to meet the young mayor, the 10-part series is an excuse to showcase Van Note’s comedic sensibilities, which are a couple Absolut on the rocks shy of absurd comic genius, and linger in a realm of kinda-but-not-really that funny.
The obvious question is, why doesn’t Van Note actually try to meet Newsom?
Tons of laughs could’ve been had from an earnest attempt to get some face time with the Mayor, with or without results. At the very least, getting San Francisco government PR agents, assistants, council members, whomever to play the straight man to Van Note’s deranged schoolgirl act would make for some intriguing comedy. Kind of like Roger and Me updated for the Web 2.0 set.
And who knows? If Newsom is anything like former San Fran Mayor Willie Brown, who played pool with Dave Attell on Insomniac Theater, maybe he would’ve even gotten on camera.
But the show trades in any and all topical and smart humor for grating hipster cliches. Girls with bangs, cheese parties, Thriller-era Michael Jackson, gratuitous face-slapping. Anyone whose been to Williamsburg lately will get it, but it was funnier when POYKPAC produced it and it was called Hipster Olympics. The closest we get to Newsom is Van Note rubbing cocaine on her face (but not really) at San Francisco City Hall.
There’s also a lot of under-executed racial humor, including a guy with dreadlocks who follows Van Note and her skittish roommate Moshe around Oakland. But he doesn’t want to rob them. He just wants to play badminton and have a picnic. Silly white people!
I’m sure the show thinks it can hide behind the curtain of irony or edginess, but for that to work, Mary’s got to make sure those jokes are a little more on key.