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TV: Marc Maron makes an uneven transition in his new IFC sitcom

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Maron (right) with Denis Leary.

The Details

Maron
two and a half stars
Fridays, 10 p.m., IFC

Along the lines of FX’s Louie and Legit, Maron features comedian Marc Maron playing himself in a lightly fictionalized version of his own life, though it’s not as bold or distinctive as either of those two other shows. Although Maron’s background is in alt-comedy and his recent success comes thanks to his in-depth interview podcast WTF, his show is a pretty standard sitcom, with Maron playing the put-upon grump dealing with meddlesome friends and relatives, exasperating exes and professional frustrations.

The show’s version of Maron still hosts a podcast, and each episode features various celebrity guests, but the interview scenes are short and superficial, which is disappointing considering that WTF is best known for Maron’s ability to elicit lengthy, revealing responses from his guests. Instead the show is dominated by silly sitcom contrivances, although Judd Hirsch’s role as Maron’s father in the third episode shows hints of deeper character development to come. Both Louie and Legit delve more deeply into their star/creators’ emotional lives, and IFC’s Comedy Bang! Bang! is a more successful podcast adaptation. At this point, despite some amusing moments and Maron’s own irascible likeability, Maron doesn’t really succeed on either front.

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