Today on LonsTV’s I’m looking at the original comedy series Backwash from writer/creator/star Joshua Malina and Danny Leiner (director of the modern comedy classic Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle).

The 3 lead characters in Backwash are on the run from the law in a stolen ice cream truck, with only their meager wits and $100,000 in stolen money to sustain them. But the show isn’t so much about the driving forward momentum of plot than the bizarre, sophomoric, frequently non sequitur hijinks of man-child Jonesy (Michael Panes), fast-talking schemer Val (Malina) and their accomplice, ice cream truck driver Nick (Michael Ian Black of The State and Stella).

backwash-reviewLess sitcom than extended comedy sketch, each episode of Backwash opens with a well-known TV star narrating the boys’ strange cross-country journey, in the style of Masterpiece Theater. (The ongoing joke is that it’s based on a novel by William Makepeace Thackeray, author of Barry Lyndon.) Guests include Jon Hamm, Sarah Silverman, Hank Azaria, John Stamos, Fred Willard, Allison Janney and a bunch of former The State castmates.

So far, there has been one 13-episode season of Backwash that wrapped up in December. As you’d expect from a comedy so reliant on sight gags, wordplay and schtick, it’s a bit inconsistent. But the series hits more often that it misses, is entertaining, and even a bit daring throughout. Hopefully, we’ll get a second season.

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