"Sam the Man" - Detroiters review

Chad White

“Sam the Man”
Season 1, Episode 3

My guts are going nuts!

The story of two friends and their misunderstandings that lead to odd adventures is a tried and true formula for Comedy Central. It’s been in the network’s DNA since its inception. Arguably, the subgenre has hit a peak with almost every show following that type of two-character dynamic or the biography of the single comedian. But we’re dealing with the former in Detroiters. This week’s episode pulls the same moves as last week’s yet it does it in such a way that the story shakes many similar conventions.

Sam and Tim’s relationship is the main focus towards the end. Tim even sums it up perfectly when he reveals that he might be ruining Sam’s sexual connections on purpose because he “wants [him] all to [himself].” It’s equally sweet and repulsive as Sam looks on to a woman who seemed interested at first sight only to have his friend pretend to be an unknowing wingman. The return of the longform joke is in full force as the last three minutes is only filled with the previously described exchange. In last week’s “Hog Riders,” their version of the joke fell flat and it felt tedious. Here, it’s entirely funny.

Having Sam unwittingly pose as a prostitute and then try to move his paid sexual relationship into a real relationship is a twist on a concept that is often seen in comedy. He falls face first, accepting money from a well loved city councilwoman who is then found to have taken her money from the taxpayers. The ins and outs of the city are fully explained in that series of events. Detroit is the character. The show is set in the city and not only is it trying to paint it as a charming city with intriguing people; it’s making the people, the streets, the locations and more their own. It’s very much in the same vein as New York in Broad City in that the two main characters drive the story alongside the city and its inhabitants – not blindly leading.

The B-story also has its memorable moments. Tim and his wife are watching Sam prostitute himself only to engage in their own, role-played version of the act. Their relationship can be seen as cute as the two head to a hotel bar to try picking each other up. The C-story has Tim blocked up digestively, unable to have dairy products but still trying to trick his wife into making him dairy-based foods.

Should you watch “Sam the Man?”

Detroiters – to me – was going to be about making the city look good. But tonight’s episode painted a different picture. Detroit is being used much like New York in other shows. And it’s working. “Sam the Man” made the ad men and their friends come off as genial people. Plus they can make a scene their own.