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Gander Review

October 6, 2020 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
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Gander Review  

Gander Review

Directed by Jonathan Kesselman
Written by Rob Kutner, along with Stephen J. Levinson, David McSavage, and Karl Spain

Lewis Black
Adam Goldberg
John Fugelsang
Jay Mohr
Rachel Dratch
Maz Jobrani
Oscar Nunez

(check out the rest of the cast here)

Produced by Craic House and Worldwide Media Conspiracy
Distributed by Tubi TV


Gander, directed by Jonathan Kesselman and written by Rob Kutner (along with Stephen J. Levinson, David McSavage, and Karl Spain), is a new short form TV show running exclusively on the Tubi streaming site (if you’re not familiar with Tubi, everything that runs on the site is free with ads). Consisting of six episodes that run around 15 minutes each, Gander features an all-star comedy cast mixed with various professionals and intellectuals who help add context to the topics discussed in each episode. Part exploration of specific topics concerning the world and part hilariously messed up skits and presentations, Gander is the kind of show that wants you to laugh, learn stuff, and then, hopefully, laugh again. It’s a fun show that, by design, doesn’t overstay its welcome. Could it be slicker? Sure. But, even under obviously modest budget circumstances, Gander is a romp and a half in just about every episode (sometimes a romp and three-quarters, at least that was my experience).

The first episode, “Food Delivery Services,” deals with the reality of how people get food delivered to them (Grubhub and stuff like that). Episode 2, “Symbols Gone Wild,” examines how symbols are used by various groups and what those symbols end up meaning (what makes something patriotic?). Episode 3, “Planned Obsolescence,” looks at technology that’s designed to be obsolete as soon as it’s created and what that means for the world (this is my second favorite episode of the six). Episode 4, “The Cult of Work,” looks at the world of jobs and employment and how people work too much (this episode is enlightening as hell). Episode 5, “Deathsploitation,” looks at the business of death and how companies exploit people (my favorite episode). And episode 6 takes a look at the world of love and how people, in this day and age, can’t seem to find meaningful relationships of any kind. Each episode has a different cast of personalities and performers talking about the various topics, so there’s no “host” continuity. What holds the show together is how it discusses each topic. Again, you laugh, you learn some stuff, and then you will probably laugh again.

Now, the lack of “host” continuity basically means that you can watch the episodes out of order and totally understand what the show is about. You can start with the fifth episode, then the first episode, and you’ll be fine. Each episode is its own self-contained presentation, which is nice since damn near everything on streaming nowadays is “long form” and set up to where you have to watch the show in a specific order in order to understand it. I’m also a big fan of its short structure. Could some of the episodes be longer? Maybe. There are topic nuances you might think an episode didn’t explore/didn’t explore enough, but at the same time you know that at around 15 minutes each, each episode is likely going to get to the important parts of whatever topic the episode is about. Gander does that in every episode.


There’s also a nice balance between important information and general wackiness. Gander is a comedy show first and foremost. If you don’t laugh at the show, the information it doles out won’t be absorbed. There are some major belly laugh moments (Lewis Black’s part forced me to rewind the episode because I missed what happened because I was laughing too hard) and there are moments where you will laugh lightly while watching, but afterwards, as you think about it, you’ll laugh even harder at what you remember. How many comedy information shows can say that? Hell, how many just comedy shows can boast that?

I also think there’s a nice “old interstitial programming on HBO from back in the day” vibe about the show. I can totally see myself watching an episode of this type of show between movies on HBO back in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s, hoping to see a different one, getting annoyed if it’s one I’ve already seen, and then watching it anyway because it’s always interesting. Of course, since Gander features “adult humor,” you probably wouldn’t see something like Gander in-between The Care Bears Movie and Harry and the Hendersons, but in-between Police Academy sequels on a Friday night? Hell, yeah.

I hope there’s a second season of Gander at some point in the future. There are other topics out there beyond the six already dealt with just dying to be explored, examined, and made fun of. I also wouldn’t mind seeing the gander duck mascot become a larger presence in the show (like in very brief animated sequences at the start and end of each episode, and maybe something very quick in the middle. Think of the merchandising possibilities!). And it might not be a bad idea to come up with a theme of song of some sort (every TV show should have a theme, regardless of what kind of TV show it is).

You should definitely check out Gander. It’s a great, well-made, funny informational comedy series. You will laugh, you will learn stuff, and then you will laugh some more. And with each episode clocking in at around 15 minutes you can watch the whole series in one sitting (you can binge that bitch in 90 minutes! How many TV shows can you say that about?).

Watch Gander on Tubi right now! Watch it, watch it, watch it!


The final score: review Amazing
The 411
Gander is a new short form TV show airing exclusively on the Tubi streaming site. Directed by Jonathan Kesselman and written by Rob Kutner (along with Stephen J. Levinson, David McSavage, and Karl Spain), the show is six episodes with a specific topic for each one. Each episode consists of different comedy performers and professionals/intellectuals discussing/making fun of each topic, and every episode is memorable in its own way. You can also watch the episodes out of order, as there’s no “host continuity.” Each episode is different. You will laugh, you will learn stuff, and then you will laugh some more. That is the show. Watch it, talk it up amongst your friends and whatnot, and maybe we’ll get a second season. There are other topics out there that deserve the Gander treatment. Watch Gander on Tubi! Watch it, watch it, watch it!

article topics :

Gander, Bryan Kristopowitz