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Binge It! James Acaster’s Repertoire Is a Meta Stand-Up Absurdity Loop

Binge It! James Acaster’s Repertoire Is a Meta Stand-Up Absurdity Loop Binge It! James Acaster’s Repertoire Is a Meta Stand-Up Absurdity Loop blank

James Acaster’s Repertoire is available to stream on Netflix.There are SO many comedy specials to stream, but James Acaster’s Repertoire is the only one I know of that spins four hour-long parts into one continuous loop of dry, absurdist humor.
Binge It! Letterkenny Is the Smartest Small-Town Comedy EverBeginning with part one, Recognise, Acaster sprinkles a meta-narrative amidst his jokes that runs all the way through part four, titled Recap. A particularly meta section in part one about how he’s actually an undercover cop posing as a standup comes back around to be paid off in a part three bit about becoming a crossing guard in a witness relocation program.Meanwhile, avant-garde bits about serving on a jury with a log-flume hype man blend seamlessly into more comfort-food, observational humor standbys like how weird it is to give your partner a massage. Acaster blends visual aids, props and a tape recorder inoffensively into the material without ever feeling like a prop comic: He does the first 30 minutes of part one from his knees and the last 15 minutes of part four facing away from the audience, reciting the inner monologue of a wooden duck.The result is the “time is a flat circle” theory of stand-up comedy. The four independent, hour-long sets weave in and out of each other, forming one huge mega-special that ends where it begins, making for the funniest snake eating its own tail you’ll be able to find on Netflix.What’s more fascinating about this Voltron of a stand-up show can be found in Acaster’s book, 2019’s Perfect Sound Whatever, in which, in addition to making the case that 2016 was the best year for music of all time, he recounts the near debilitating mental breakdown he was experiencing at the time he was filming Repertoire, how exhausted and unhappy with his performance he was. Taking that into account, Repertoire becomes the portrait of a comedian diving deep into his artistic reserves to make something that truly brings him happiness.I’ve watched James Acaster’s series start-to-finish several times, to the point where, algorithmically, Netflix just assumes I’m going to watch it whenever I log in. Repertoire is a fantastically absurd journey into the mind of an award-winning British comedian. Also, with its episodic nature and four-hour runtime, Repertoire is a stand-up special that counts as a binge watch, which is an added layer of absurdity that I for one believe is part of the point.The 25 Best Netflix Comedy SpecialsMore From Binge It!…The Allure of Cormac McCarthy’s Beautifully Desolate Border Trilogy Justified Is a Stylish, Modern Western That Still Hits the Target 10 Years Later Netflix’s Castlevania Is a Bloody Exploration of the Human Condition… With Vampires Netflix’s Voltron Is a Surprisingly Complicated Update of the Classic Cartoon Letterkenny Is the Smartest Small-Town Comedy Ever

Binge It! is IGN’s recommendation series. Movies, TV shows, books, comics, music… if you can binge it, we’re here to talk about it. In each installment of Binge It!, we’ll discuss a piece of content we’re passionate about — and why you should check it out.

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Written by Mohit

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