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Review: ‘Sarah Silverman Program’

[IMG:L]In its third-season premiere (airing Oct. 8 at 10:30/9:30c on Comedy Central), The Sarah Silverman Program takes approximately three minutes to get to its trademark filthy humor–and boy, are those three minutes awkward!

Much like its eponymous star/co-producer/co-writer, the Program is at its best when raunchy and depraved. Luckily, once that aforementioned first joke goes off in the premiere–and it’s more lewd than most anything you’ll see on cable–the obscenities pretty much keep on coming.

The season-three opener is, at its core, about diarrhea and smoking pot, with a little wet-dream humor thrown in for good measure.

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Next-door neighbors Sarah (Sarah Silverman) and Brian (Brian Posehn) realize that they haven’t hung out in a while and that things have become weird for them. They remedy that by spending the entire day together, stoned.

Problem is, Sarah’s not much of a pot smoker, so she has somewhat adverse reactions–like concocting grand schemes to solve societal problems, and then leaving voicemail messages for “sober Sarah” so she’ll remember her ideas.

Brian explains to her that the products he buys the most–diarrhea-inducing potato chips, toilet paper, and diarrhea medicine–are all made by the same company: Schaarcorp. Sarah puts two and two together and hatches a plan to confront the president of Schaarcorp (Garry Marshall) for scamming consumers. Naturally, that plan goes awry, and an uncharacteristic quasi-antidrug message is ultimately born.

It’s always been easy to come up empty when seeking true hilarity from The Sarah Silverman Program, even if you “get” Sarah Silverman. This episode is no exception. But it’s important to remember that the show isn’t meant to be merely 30-minute episodes of Silverman as her stand-up persona; rather, it exists primarily to subvert the wholesome, all-American, family-friendly sitcoms of today and yesterday. And when viewed with that in mind, it really is a funny show.

This particular episode doesn’t really deliver anything memorable–unless you have trouble wiping your brain of the bodily function joke early on–but that should change as the season progresses: A few episodes down the road, Silverman broaches the subject of 9/11…in case she hadn’t already polarized enough people.

Grade: B

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