This article contains information that could be considered too revealing according to our spoiler policy. Proceed with caution. You can't unsee it!Reason The first season drops the day after this post's publication; the pilot's also been available on demand for a few days, and we got screeners.
Is My Brother, My Brother And Me Ready To Face Life Beyond The Podcast?
The new show from the McElroy brothers is familiar, but not too familiar. (But not too not familiar.)
What Is This Thing?
It's important to know that the McElroy brothers are not experts, and their advice should never be followed. They are, however, three brothers from West Virginia who started up a podcast back in the golden age of podcasts: 2010. The show became such a hit that new streaming service Seeso offered them the chance to do pretty much what they've been doing, but on television instead of through a computer. Since Seeso's a comedy network, that's kind of a high honor.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the podcast of the same name, the brothers pluck out questions from the deep internet (namely Yahoo! Answers) and humorously solve them. For the show, the three dapper gentleman -- oldest brother Justin, middlest brother Travis, and sweet baby brother Griffin McElroy -- do what many other true Americans did back in 2005 and ditched Yahoo! in favor of something a little better. They took real questions from established fans, and decided to give advice through fun projects and pranks.
When Is It On?
Seeso will premiere the whole season run on February 23rd; the pilot episode is also available on Seeso's Youtube page.
Why Was It Made Now?
Good question. It's not like the McElroy brothers are necessarily looking for other projects. Besides "My Brother, My Brother And Me," the three have multiple other podcasts on the Maximum Fun network. Also, they've got wives and a bunch of babies, a few of the latter having been born pretty recently.
Really, the process of "podcast to TV show" is an emerging trend. For one, "WTF" host Marc Maron hit it big with the IFC show Maron, partially because the pilot was guaranteed to come with a large number of potential followers.
What's Its Pedigree?
The brothers have proven that they've got the star power to make it big. Not only do they participate in live tours, but they're all over YouTube. And -- no offense, Tay Zonday -- but they've definitely proven that they're not one-hit wonders as far as digital talent is concerned.
Justin and Griffin also work with the website Polygon -- Justin as an Editor-At-Large and Griffin with their video content. So, that's just further proof that they know how the internet works. (Surely the prior mention of Yahoo! Answers might have made a few of you non-believers.)
There's definitely something satisfying about watching Justin, Travis, and Griffin hang out in their hometown of Huntington. If anything, it makes this show seem even more legit. These aren't actors -- they're simply three guys who have an above average sense of humor and a loving relationship with their father (who's been included in their podcasts, and is definitely a big part of the show).
The first episode, which Seeso made available early, is all about the brothers trying to persuade a fan's wife to let him buy a tarantula. Travis, reasonably afraid of arachnids, even goes along with their plans to celebrate the spider -- or as they've nicknamed it, the "Rancho."
The endearing nickname alone is why these brothers are so fun to watch. Very rarely do they tell a joke that doesn't land. (And, spoiler alert: Travis ends up learning a very valuable lesson, about facing your fears, along the way.)
It's also refreshing to know that the show lacks a specific genre. In an interview with TV Insider, Travis lovingly referred to it as "a magical reality show" -- and through text alone, it seemed pretty obvious that he's had to answer that question many times already.
While episodes are always entertaining, sometimes they don't exactly feel complete. For example, the aforementioned pilot episode. While it showed the brothers setting up an official Rancho Facebook page, there wasn't a lot of follow-through. The page (which I'm totally following) could have served as a stronger joke.
Was it absolutely necessary to play out that plot thread? Probably not. But since the show has a Nathan For You vibe going for it, and noting how incredibly above-and-beyond host Nathan Fielder goes to round out his own wacky ideas, My Brother, My Brother And Me definitely seems a bit light by comparison. (It should be noted that Nathan For You has yet to feature a prop that's equivalent to the McElroy's three-person Superdesk, so My Brother, My Brother And Me definitely gets credit for that.)
For podcast fans, the show is a must-watch, and not only because it's pretty damn special seeing all of the brothers hang out with each other, face to face.
Other comedy fans might take a while to warm up to their schtick -- but once they've become well-versed in all things McElroy, they'll probably appreciate the bond the brothers have created over time. All three definitely give off the "we'd be friends in real life" vibe, even though you probably shouldn't bother them if you see them in a public place (since they probably just want to enjoy dinner, and not hear all of their best one-liners spouted back at them. Gosh). All in all, My Brother, My Brother, And Me is worth the $3.99 monthly cost that Seeso will run you.