THURSDAY, JUNE 25, 2015|
Posted by: Niko Demetriou
Remarkably well shot and produced, Thank You And Sorry successfully straddles a fine line between documentary and sitcom; Jack Antonoff's mini-series project is full of sincerity and enough of the irresistible charm of Bleachers to make up for any pitfall in the acting or story. Director Bill Benz follows the NYC based rock band on tour, weaving Jack's personal thoughts in with clever encounters and well written scenarios. It's the innate lovability of the band that produces some of the funniest bits of banter and the whole series feels very true to who Bleachers are, even during the clearly scripted scenes. The short series highlights what it is that makes the group so good and gives us a little bit more of what goes on behind the scenes as well as what goes on in Jack's mind, a fantastic combination.
The way in which the series is filmed agrees so well with the 80s movies influenced sound of Bleachers. The ribbing conversations between Jack and his managers feel like scenes pulled straight out of Seinfeld, in the best way. Putting on blast the absurdities of the music industry, the irony in the songwriter's tone drew laughs from me on more than one occasion. Antonoff recognizes just how strange tour can be and shows us with random encounters that carry some serious weight. What's a well-built man in jeans emerging from the ocean water supposed to mean? I don't know, but it's well delivered and hilarious.
It's not all laughs, though. Jack hits some serious topics and gives his fans some real insight into who he is as a person. Themes of life and death, relationships, and the trials of tour are all addressed both comedically and through some hard-hitting monologues. How his misophobia has affected both his personal and professional life leads well into a couple great encounters and a heartfelt speech or two. The bandmates also get a chance to show us who they are, although these are typically more lighthearted with the 'Drum Boys' segments belonging on the highlight reel. Through it all, the bandmates' love for each other is so clear it gives the entire series a well accepted warming sensation.
Most importantly, the series doesn't forget what it's about. Each episode leads itself into a live set and an uninterrupted performance of a single song. With the themes of each episode directly behind the track choice, the final performance for each episode is a fantastic way to bring it home. Jack's stage presence is massive and enthusiastic, never forgetting about the crowd and visibly loving every second of the performance. It's a blast to watch the band play and it keeps the show rooted within itself, retaining its documentary aspect.
Thank You And Sorry knows just how much of itself to give away. It keeps the balance between absurdities and sitcom styled banter paralleled with genuine dialogue and sincere emotional expression. Each episode is long enough to have a coherent theme with an appropriate ending and the entire series is enough to give us all we want to see without becoming repetitive. This is the type of mini-series I would like to see picked up continuously, highlighting different groups with their own unique spin on the formula. Above all else, the most recognizable feature of the show that I would like to continue seeing is the love of the band. The love of the band from fans, the love of the band from the members and the love of the band from Jack himself. Bleachers have crafted something here worth checking out for both their truest fans and anyone looking for a good watch with some quality music.