At first cleverly blending two very different TV styles into the one series, 'Kevin Can F**k Himself' sees Allison (Annie Murphy from 'Schitt's Creek') spiral from an ever-doting wife to one who wants to murder her husband.
'Kevin Can F**k Himself' begins as a classic multi-camera sitcom setup we've seen time and again; we have the obnoxious husband Kevin (Eric Petersen) who never appears to listen to his wife, and we have said wife who finds herself cleaning up and taking take of the man-child that she's been married to for 10 long years. Audience laughter ensues after nearly everything Kevin mutters, and the secondary characters of Kevin's father Peter (Brian Howe) and their sibling neighbours Patty (Mary Hollis Inboden) and Neil (Alex Bonifer) make it seem like Allison is the only person in the cast who manages to keep the house ticking over, or to have a piece of commonsense. Essentially, she's the "perfect" sitcom wife, just there to set up her husband's gags.
Then Allison walks off-screen away from Kevin - and everything changes. What was a blindingly bright and vibrant TV screen is now replaced with a dark crime/drama camera filter and the laughter track has ceased. This is the journey of one woman's struggle to get out of a failing marriage, flip-flopping in between her "TV life" and her reality.
There's no doubt about the casting of Annie Murphy in the series - she's stepped out of her Alexis glow from 'Schitt's Creek' and landed herself into something with more of an edge than you might expect. You can't help but fall head over heels for the leading character, you want her to live that life, get that lipstick from those snotty girls at the beauty shop, and finally wake up to the fact that her gruff and ungodly husband belongs in a sitcom from the '80s. Murphy is sensational at playing both the light and the dark sides of her personality.
When we're with Allison, the series continues at a nice pace. As we progress and more characters begin to intertwine with her self-discovery journey, we see her let loose and live a life that more closely resembles that of a 35-year-old. Her relationship with Mary Hollis Inboden's Patty in particular is one of the highlights of the show.
However, it's when 'Kevin Can F**k Himself' reverts back into that sitcom set-up following the story of Kevin and his numbskull father and next-door neighbour that it begins to grate. We get that Allison is beginning to tire of her husband, but does that mean we have to be subjected to his unfunny antics as well?
Unfortunately, this is what the series is trying to convey to the audience. The real, more private side of Allison is so much more interesting to watch than a group of men attempting to cook a big pig on a BBQ. It shows how far we've come as an audience, with chauvinistic sitcoms such as this being (hopefully) a thing of the past. Yet we have to put up with this side story in order to feel the pain Allison is really going through when she's at home under the unwatchful eye of her husband. There are two narratives running through the series at once - meaning you'll catch yourself waiting for Kevin's sitcom life to end so that Allison's one can begin.
With only four episodes available for preview, we get the sense that Allison's worries are far from over mid-way through the series. Seeing a character becoming increasingly unhinged is a sure-fire way to keep us watching, but so far we're only half-invested in the series.
All eight episodes of 'Kevin Can F**k Himself' are available on Amazon Prime now.