CS Review: Three Busy Debras Reaches a New Level of Absurdity

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CS Review: Three Busy Debras Reaches a New Level of Absurdity

If you’re looking for a nutty bit of fun, check out Three Busy Debras when it premiers on AdultSwim Sunday at 9 p.m. MST.

Produced by Amy Poehler’s Paper Kite Productions, the comedy extravaganza follows three women named Debra, played by Sandy Honig, Alyssa Stonoha and Mitra Jouhari, as they go about their busy day-to-day lives in the surreal town of Lemoncurd. Phony smiles and non-stop not-so-subtle pot shots — “I never thought about you as having a house. In fact, I’ve never thought about you at all!” — make up this mock eutopia consisting of overtly cheerful police officers who ignore blatant threats, and townsfolk who litter their lawn with a preposterous number of American flags and shave their bushes with shaving cream.

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“In this charming town live three busy women, who are all named Debra,” the narrator says. “That’s not all … oh wait. Yes it is.” Each Debra comes with their own eccentricities. Honig’s haughty Debra acts as the alpha and electrifies the gang with stories about eating oatmeal; Stonoha operates as the de facto No. 2 and fills out forms by drawing random circles; and Jouhari exists as the third wheel who spends her life trying to impress the other two.

None are particularly stupid. They simply exist in the type of universe reserved for extremely rich people. Think David and Alexis Rose dialed up to 11.

I imagine Three Busy Debras will elicit as many laughs as eye rolls. And that’s a compliment. Like most AdultSwim content Debras plays like a trippy writer’s exercise, or the type of stoner humor typically reserved for male-centric programming such as Rick and Morty and Robot Chicken. Or one of those weird Old Spice commercials. The show pokes fun at everything from Desperate Housewives to the prototypical American woman. You’ll either find it extremely funny, or grating depending on your comedy preference.

I found the show’s deadpan satire, delivered perfectly by its three leads, absolutely hilarious. But I rank Airplane as one of the great American movies. Take from that what you will.

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The first episode has the three Debras covering up the murder of a pool boy. The kid was cleaning the leaves off the driveway (?) and ended up crushed between two SUVs driven by Stonoha’s and Jouhari’s characters. (They were too busy waiving to each other to notice the victim.) The murder is witnessed by an angry male neighbor who threatens to alert the “heroic police” and tie the women’s tubes … Each Debra then sets off to perform an assigned task. Jouhari disposes the body, Stonoha thwarts the police, and Honig holds auditions to find a new pool boy. Cue the antics.

The second episode revolves around a sleepover at Jouhari’s home necessitated after faulty plumbing leaves the other two women stranded. Neither Honig nor Stonoha’s Debras want to venture to their friend’s home where the garbage is kept inside the house rather than tossed away at the town reservoir. Plus, neither is keen to engage in girl talk or the usual sleepover nonsense — you know, facials, toe-nail painting, cocaine-spiked punch and a board game called Security Questions.

“We just have to get through it — in and out. Like a drive through or sex with my husband,” one Debra says to the other.

Again, Three Busy Debras won’t work for everybody. The girls in my house merely scoffed at the “dumb humor,” but those who enjoy this brand of comedy will find a sharply written, even fresh bit of satire that will likely only get weirder as the series progresses.

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Tuesday: Jun. 2, 2020

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