Nasim Pedrad boldly parodies adolescence at TBS in Chad | Television / Streaming

The scenarios not pushing quite too far into a surprising madness, Pedrad begins to settle in “Chad” halfway, and his performance takes on meaning in his own way. But when the honest parody of his performance fades into the background, you end up with a comedy about sharp teenage behavior, and a comedy that doesn’t show much that’s different from the kid Chad. He is deaf (especially with other races), clueless, sometimes too smart for his own good, extremely stupid, etc. a kindergarten. TThe series wants to find a lot of meaning in the way a particularly childish teenager sees the world, and that’s a healthy but hit-and-miss goal.

While at times punchy and cutting edge, the comedy writing in “Chad” sometimes falls into the traps of this preciousness, making Pedrad character moments more conducive to canned laughter than the edgy type of story on the move to. the adulthood that she also wants to be. It usually shows up in a lengthy dialogue, like this overworked zinger from a midseason scene where Chad protests the shoes his mom got at Costco: “Mom, how the hell am I supposed to be a professional social media influencer?” when i jump around town in this shit? I mean, are you raising a young boy or a young Filipino nurse? The show swings between this qualification of being either crushed with her jokes or endorsed with some of her storylines that it places Chad in. Some episodes, like the one in which he babysits his little sister Niki, but learns to drink the culture of his friends, feel like superficial riffs on his characteristic naivety.

Part of “Chad’s” unusual experience is that he wants viewers to stop seeing Pedrad in character. And yet, this is where it gets less special. Take Pedrad away from the show, replace him with a real 14-year-old boy, and “Chad” wouldn’t have enough to say to stand out. But because Pedrad plays this character, with so much affection and physical dedication, the show works. She nails the nervous tug of a backpack strap while talking to a new classmate, or the shaky posture walking the hallways, or the brief stolen moments in a bathroom, wiping her tears away before throwing herself in. over there. The comedy here isn’t that Pedrad is in the title role, but that being a teenager is his own cruel and potentially very funny joke.

The entire season 1 has been screened for review.

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