The Break with Michelle Wolf: Season 1/ Episode 1 “Strong Female Lead” [Series Premiere] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

The Break with Michelle Wolf title card.
71.58% (1)

You ever really wanted to like something, especially because of someone’s past work but just couldn’t? That’s the feeling you’ll get from The Break with Michelle Wolf.


Network
Netflix
Creator Michelle Wolf
Director(s) André Allen
Air Date 5/27/2018
Noted Actors
Host Michelle Wolf

The Introduction

There are hardly any women with talk shows, which aren’t on daytime TV. So, with Chelsea Handler gone, it seems Netflix has replaced her with Michelle Wolf. Someone who, between her HBO comedy special and recent stint at the White House Correspondence dinner, you may have had high hopes for? Well, take them down a notch. For between a monologue which goes on too long and seems inspired by Wolf’s style, and not the caliber you’d expect from something written by Wolf herself, so begins the series of disappointments. Which go into sketches dealing with an Amazon Echo which requires lunch meat and then her monologue shifting to a desk. Where she delivers one sole funny line which deals with cracking on Dana Loesch, spokesperson for the NRA.

Leading to guest Amber Ruffin who Wolf shares a whole segment dedicated to their right and love of not having kids. Not an interview or them telling funny stories and things like that. Another segment which is in the style of something you’d expect from Wolf, but from someone doing a poor imitation of the real thing.

Criticism

This Just Doesn’t Seem Like Her Thing

Wolf at her desk and telling us she is at one.

When it comes to comedians, there is this occasionally asked question of what is proof that you made it? Is it having a comedy special, hosting the Oscars or having your own show? Well, seemingly one of the milestones for Wolf was having her own show and the premiere made that seem like a terrible idea.

Now, mind you, I won’t say it is necessarily Wolf that is the problem here, but because the jokes aren’t written by her but for her. Also, you can see that this show is a mix of other people’s shows and there is a little bit of everything to see what actually works for Wolf. Is it making it into a sketch comedy series, as seen in her “Strong Female Lead” sketch? How about random spoofs like the Amazon Echo one? What about listing off things she dislikes or just letting her do a set of jokes which would never make it to a special?

Nope. None of it works. All it shows is the many ways Wolf shouldn’t continue this show if it lasts past its first season. For, frankly, none of those lanes which have made other comedians famous work for her. As for what would? Well, to be honest, I’m of the mindset a sitcom or even a show like Louie would have been a superior idea to this clunker we were presented.

First Impression: Negative (Don’t Watch)

Wolf saying that she is out of time and the show is over.

To put it simply, it seems like this show had good timing to capitalize off Wolf’s rise but no one involved really took the time to see what Wolf could, or should, do. So what we unfortunately get is someone who may have talk show experience, but by no means should be the host of a talk show, sketch show, or whatever the hell this show is supposed to be. For it just might not be something Wolf is good at or meant to do.

Hence the negative label. While Wolf has proven herself to be funny, I don’t think she works well as someone who has others write jokes, in her style, for her. The writing needs to be done by her to work and I want to pinpoint that as the issue here. People are putting words into Wolf’s mouth and giving her things they think would be funny for her. That is, as opposed to her doing what she thinks is funny and writing it all out so the joke is comfortable for her.

Thus giving us this variety show which I can imagine her talking about as a lesson of some kind. You know, when she has her next show which will not be about striking while the iron is hot but because there was real and serious planning. But, until then, here is hoping she soaks up all it takes to run and star in a show for I honestly can’t imagine this getting a second season. Even though I still remain a fan.


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