The fact that you clicked on this article after seeing the stupid headline shows that you are open minded. Nirvana group show has a name (misspelled for legal reasons) that ensures that only those who want to dive into the weird, or misguided Nirvana fans who think the show is connected to a real band, can try it. It makes sense given the humor Nirvana group showbecause it’s one of the most surreal comedy shows that doesn’t try to explain its surrealism. Even if you recognize the creators from their mid-2000s web series (which Wii Shopping Channel song where), this show still surprises and stands out among many other wacky comedies.
The premise is simple. Matt Johnson and Jay McCarroll are best friends, roommates, and bandmates (in fact, the only two people in Nirvanna the Band). These two friends want nothing more than to play a show at Rivoli, a restaurant and club on Queen Street in Toronto that plays live music. The humor primarily comes from the ridiculous steps Matt and Jay will go to in order to get the coveted gig at the Rivoli. From holding a bank hostage, to demanding that Nirvanna the Band play Rivoli, to trying to steal a kid’s wish from Make-a-Wish, there’s nothing wild they haven’t resorted to. The fact that you never see them rehearse songs or play any music related to their band makes their devotion all the more fun.
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Dark and absurd humor can easily come across as mean, but it never is. It’s because of how serious the show is, because it uses both a script and candid filming throughout the city. Matt and Jay (characters, not creators) play characters) are clueless, highly motivated, and a bit goofy, but their sincere friendship and commitment to such an accidental goal makes you root for them and cringe for them at the same time. It helps that their comedic rhythm and improvisation is second to none.
What they do in Nirvana group showlike jumping on the Toronto subway tracks or asking if they can 3D print a gun in a library seems impossible to get away with. But somehow they get away with it, and it’s always fun. It becomes even funnier when you consider that most of the reactions of people around are sincere, since Toronto is exactly the city where this happens. Matt and Jay constantly risk both their social position and health by frankly filming these stunts, but the reward is worth it every time. You just can’t help but love these stupid kids as they plot ever more crazy adventures.
Some of these escapades take the form of parodies or homages, but they are not hackish or overzealous. These characters are so mentally stuck in the 90s and obsessed with pop culture that it’s entirely plausible that they often take VHS tapes and reference old movies. How they take on huge franchises like star Wars and Jurassic Parkbecause it never ends with just «remember this movie?» On the contrary, it is an authentic part of the world of the show, or at least the world that Matt and Jay think they live in.
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In addition, there is a brilliant chemistry between Matt and Jay that can only come from years of true friendship. It adds a strange and almost wholesome aspect to the duo’s often shocking misadventures. The credits scenes capture this real friendship best, as Jay will play the piano for Matt as he tries to win the race in Mario Kart 64or two will play goldeneye 007 together, teasing each other in the most realistic depiction of youthful friendship I’ve ever seen on TV. You probably have a friend like Matt or Jay that makes their behavior personal.
As a Canadian, I’m very proud of this show as it manages to be fun and embrace and showcase its homegrown setting, but its appeal extends beyond its home country. Nirvana group show there are currently two seasons, although a third has reportedly been completed and is in legal limbo due to the 2018 closure of Viceland Canada, which initially picked up the show. If you live in Canada, you can stream it for free through CBC Gem, while people outside the country must buy the show through services like YouTube and iTunes (although only the first season is available for purchase). No matter what hoops audiences have to go through, he’s worth keeping an eye on because he mixes his quirky alternative comedy with a Canadian setting and a cute goofy duo at his center in such a gripping and totally unique way.