‘A Day in the Life’ is true reality
Last year, Hulu.com took a chance with its first long-form original program, and now it’s back for a second season. Hosted and co-created by filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (“Super Size Me”), “A Day in the Life” follows influential artists, celebrities and entertainers in their struggles for success.
The season two premiere stars veteran comedian Marc Maron, who has been performing stand-up for over 20 years and hosts the popular interview podcast “WTF.”
The day starts at nine a.m. in Los Angeles with Marc feeding his cats and making coffee before preparing for his interview with Mindy Kaling (“The Office”) and for his stand-up spot at the infamous Comedy Store.
The traditional single camera technique keeps the show simple and familiar. It is interspersed with interview segments offering an insight into how Marc began his comedic career, and the struggles that have shaped his personal and private life.
Some viewers may find the show’s slow pace unappealing, but it is helped along by Marc’s jokes and neurotic nature. For example, when Marc’s espresso machine fails mid-brew, he doesn’t miss a beat as he looks at his ruined coffee and exclaims, “A half-realized mocha–there’s nothing sadder than that.”
Because of the slow pacing and lack of a climax or resolution, “A Day in the Life” is not traditionally entertaining, but this is, in some ways, one of its strengths. This show is meant to document the sometimes unglamorous and mundane daily lives behind the personae of our entertainers, and Marc is the perfect subject. Who can’t relate to compulsive coffee drinking or the struggle to self-define and self-express?
The episode wraps up with Marc performing a hilarious stand-up set, leaving the audience feeling satisfied and wanting more of Marc’s jokes and more episodes.
This season so far doesn’t deviate from the model set up in season one, but an interesting aspect of this episode is the isolation of the subject. Previous episodes (which viewers can stream at any time) feature subjects such as Richard Branson and will.i.am surrounded by assistants and entourages, but Marc is shown in almost complete isolation. Even when Marc is performing, there is a strange separation between the audience and the performer, and that honest and humbling lens is the success of this show.
“A Day in the Life” has an economical 22-minute running time and an even more economical price: free. In a world dominated by reality television, viewers owe it to themselves to take in one of the only true realty programs. Because, as Marc says, “there’s no, you know, almost there …. You’re there– this is it.”