Season 1, Episode 6
Old magic number 3.
For a few episodes now, Detroiters has skirted the lines between comedy about friends in the ad business, a comedy about friends in general, and a comedy about friends in Detroit. The common theme between them is the friendship of lead characters Sam and Tim. They both have their pros and cons (Tim tends to fly off the handle; Sam is more selfish) but they work well together. They’re exactly like the Workaholics or the women of Broad City. At the same time, they’ll use their defining attributes to lie to one another almost immediately but, in the same amount of time, they could revert back to old rhythms.
The magic of Detroiters is how well Tim and Sam play off of each other. Within the first two minutes – under a myriad of poop jokes and puns – both men send out a flurry of feces laden material. The exchanges are funny enough, but they’re capped by two sight gags: a poop tote (referred to as their briefcase) consisting of several rolls of toilet paper, some actual business materials like pen and paper, and various other oddities. The second gag is a physical escort of watching the men journey to the floor below them proudly and confidently carrying the aforementioned tote while a jazzy number plays in the background. With these first two minutes, “3rd Floor” boldly asserts itself into its already charming narrative.
The story of the episode shifts focus with every scene. The guys are working on an ad for a mirror company and have their poor, overworked intern try to “digitalize” and crop them out of the commercial. And the third-floor pooping sanctuary is ruined by a tech start up moving in. The new company is being heralded as the saviors of Detroit – a badge that Sam and Tim thought they wore. Even though the company is full of nice people who are only improving the lives of Tim and Sam, the guys aren’t having it. That is until Sam falls for one of the workers. He promptly ditches Tim to go hang out with her. It’s when Tim goes through an elaborate ruse involving a bicycle bar that the guys have a falling out (their second of the episode). Both plots end predictably with the tech company staying put and helping with the commercial.
Should you watch “3rd Floor?”
Detroiters continues to work wonders. While the stories don’t exactly break ground, it’s the interaction between characters – mainly Tim and Sam – that set this show apart from others. Bonus: there’s a set of jokes about Tim being from the suburbs (which is referenced in this Late Night interview). It is only now that I realize I watch too much TV.