Coming off her Emmy-winning and final season of Schitt’s Creek, Annie Murphy has already moved on to her next series, a genre-busting dramedy called Kevin Can F**k Himself. The show, created by Valerie Armstrong (a Lodge 49 alum), follows Allison, a typical sitcom wife who is the butt of her husband’s tasteless jokes and subjected to a thankless living caring for a man-child who obviously hates her (honestly, SO many sitcoms are hard to re-watch because the wives/girlfriends are treated so horribly, how did we normalize this for so long? Except society doesn’t really care when actual men in the real world treat their wives like sh-t. We accept it as normal when men openly resent the women they’ve married, which might have something to do with the declining marriage rate, I dunno, these are just thoughts). One day, Allison snaps and starts seeing her life and her possibilities in a whole new way. The show toggles between a multi-cam sitcom format and a single-cam drama format, something WandaVision is preparing audiences for, the way it pops in and out of the show-within-the-show and the “real” world. It’s probably a good break for Kevin Can F**k Himself to follow WandaVision in that way.
Schitt’s Creek is an absolute powerhouse of comedic performances, and while Moira Rose is a Hall of Fame TV character, Annie Murphy has always been my favorite performer on that show. She’s just so expressive and reactive, capable of turning the tiniest moments into laughs, but there was always a dark streak in Alexis Rose, too, that Murphy nurtured just as she did Alexis’s comedic reaction shots. Every once in a while, we’d get a glimpse of Survivor Alexis, not just rattling off bizarre stories from her past, but snapping into action and accomplishing things no one expected she could, like graduating from high school and starting her own business. Annie Murphy was phenomenal at giving us those flashes of Survivor Alexis I cannot WAIT to see what she can do with a character like Allison, experiencing two realities and trying to break out of the sitcom-wife mold. Let Allison Burn The World 2021!
Though no one involved with the show has admitted it is a deliberate call out, the title Kevin Can F**k Himself can’t help but call to mind the 2016 CBS sitcom Kevin Can Wait, starring Kevin James and, originally, Erinn Hayes as his put-upon wife. However, Hayes’ character, Donna, was unceremoniously killed off for season two because the show was “running out of ideas”, as per Kevin James. (Maybe it wasn’t a good idea in the first place, then?) The ploy did not work, though, and Kevin Can Wait was cancelled after its sophomore season. Further, executives at CBS later admitted the audience was unhappy with the treatment of Donna/Erinn Hayes, and that contributed to a steep sophomore ratings slump. When asked about Kevin Can F**k Himself earlier this month, Kevin James said, “If they can use me to get their show made, and it’s a great show, God bless them. Good for them.” So, Valerie Armstrong conceived a show about blowing up one of the oldest, most tired tropes in the sitcom canon and Kevin James thinks it’s all about him. The title might be, because of his infamous treatment of a woman who played his thankless sitcom wife, but for the rest of it? Kevin can f**k himself.