It’s always a cliché to include “attention to detail” as a skill on one’s resume, but for Inside Amy Schumer, it’s the details that consistently win me over. Even in a sketch that lingers too long or meanders a bit on its way to the punchline, there are always a few zingers and throwaway jokes that make it worth your time. And “Tyler Perry’s Episode 208” is filled to the brim with such gags—even down to the episode title itself.
The first feature sketch is a perfect example. In a more subdued role than he normally plays, comic Rory Scovel cozies up on the couch with Schumer as the two try to pick a movie to watch. The pace is equally relaxed, and the premise isn’t hugely original, but the specificity of the fake movie titles and plot summaries makes them instantly quotable. Who now doesn’t want to see Reese Witherspoon in Squiggle Dum-Dum or Jim Carrey in Holocaust Down? And that’s before we get to the three-page list of fictional Tyler Perry movies. (“He made a Twilight?”) As the two decide to watch Cocktail, it feels like the sketch is going to be about how that movie doesn’t exactly hold up, but instead ends on a charming moment when Schumer leaves to get ice cream, and Scovel secretly loads up Pitch Perfect to play along with his own paper-cup a capella.
It’s a sweeter twist than the ending of the cold open, where Schumer checks her boyfriend’s search history while he’s in the shower, discovering he’s been looking up Dream Boyfriend questions like “What will our baby look like?” and ordering teddy bears that say “I [heart] Amy.” It all seems too good to be true, and of course it is, as we get the reveal that Dream Boyfriend is actually in the bathroom doing a little morning auto-erotic asphyxiation that for some reason involves the teddy bear. Kinda creepy note to end on, but the execution of the set-up and Schumer’s giddy girliness up to then makes it work.
For all that’s been written about Schumer’s sneak-attack feminism (including by yours truly), it’s always equally funny when Inside Amy Schumer acknowledges some of women’s own quirks. We’ve all seen the pharmaceutical ads for men experiencing low testosterone, but what happens when women have a similar lack of estrogen? They start acting like less of a woman, namely by telling brief stories with an actual point and arguing rationally without bringing up issues from three years ago. Luckily, there’s SandraGel, which works quickly to have women paranoid about their boyfriends’ text messages again in no time. It’s a perfect Schumer sketch, sharp and insightful in a way both men and women will appreciate, though probably for different reasons.
I may not be the best person to judge “The Nurses,” since I have several nurses in my family and have seen many who truly are unsung heroes. But I can still appreciate the humor in going after the antagonistic relationship between nurses and doctors, as well as the sometimes brusk treatment patients can get from office nurses when going in for an appointment. (“Step on the scale, please!”) For me, the biggest laughs came from the coworker dynamics that can apply to any job, here specifically in Schumer asking everyone to chip in $3 toward a birthday cookie cake, despite one nurse’s protest that she’s not going to eat any of it. Again, not necessarily the snappiest sketch overall, but it still has those couple of moments that push it toward the plus column.
Continuing the theme of female paranoia and distrust, Schumer co-anchors a local newscast with Dan Rydell Josh Charles, who returns for another winning guest appearance. When a man-on-the-street interview reveals Amy’s we’re-on-a-break boyfriend has already found another girl, she goes on a shouty rampage through the studio, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they’re still live on-air. It’s another example of the core premise being built on Schumer Doing Her Thing, but Charles’ equally energetic commitment holds it together. Also just love the chemistry between these two, and for the record: JOSH CHARLES, YOU ARE ALWAYS WELCOME ON MY TELEVISION.
For “Amy Goes Deep,” Schumer interviews a woman who used to be a flight attendant and tries to get some scoop about air travel from the flight crew’s point of view. Some of the questions are rooted in old observational jokes about flying, like needing to move your seat a couple of inches upright for landing, but there’s a nice rapport between the two women that keeps things moving. And it’s worth it for the blow of Schumer’s joke at the end about what flight attendants really mean when they walk up and down the aisle repeating the word “trash.”
Only two more episodes to go, guys! Not sure what we’ll watch to fill the time after that. Maybe we’ll have to check out that movie about Kevin Kline as a single father renovating a secret barn. Or we still have that documentary about whale fracking (the worst kind of fracking). Or maybe we’ll just re-watch this season of Inside Amy Schumer? Works for me.
P.S. Because you know you want it, here’s your transcript of every Tyler Perry movie listed on Amy’s VOD:
Tyler Perry’s Big Mama’s Car
Tyler Perry’s The More the Perry-er
Tyler Perry’s Big Mama’s Condo
Tyler Perry’s “Mmmhmmm”
Tyler Perry’s Medea and the Temple of Uh uh
Tyler Perry’s Big Momma’s Deposition
Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Fire Island
Tyler Perry’s Late for the Ferry
Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Silverware Ain’t Gonna Shine Itself
Tyler Perry’s I Ain’t Wanna Do It But I Done Did It!
Tyler Perry’s Women on the Very Very Edge
Tyler Perry’s Lordy Lordy Someone Done Stole My Slippers
Tyler Perry’s Twilight
Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Trenton
Tyler Perry’s Madea Vs. Jason
Tyler Perry’s Jesus, Is That You Son?
Tyler Perry’s Tyler Perry is Jack Reacher
Tyler Perry’s A Strong Strong Woman Ya’ll
Tyler Perry’s The Darker the Berry The Sweeter The Drank!
Tyler Perry’s The Imaginarium of Dr. Dre
Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Mecca