Review by Mary Cox
The second season of Eric Wareheim and Tim Heidecker’s spiritual successor to both Awesome Show, Great Job and Check It Out! is back in action. Anthology horror series are becoming more and more popular with the success of films like V/H/S, creating more room on television for the release of shorts and limited one-offs.
Wareheim and Heidecker’s work balances in that space between humor and discomfort, but Bedtime Stories goes beyond cringe comedy and delves into the realm of the surreal. The framing narrative of “Baklava” about a man trying to get a bonus at work to pay off his daughter’s kidnappers matters only because it gives us a context for the surreal events that follow. This episode feels like an anxiety dream, where uncertainty reigns and dread looms.
Looking beyond the surface of this episode, there’s a clear parable here about the difficulty of living with people who suffer from addictions, and about the pain and futility of constantly pulling someone you care about back from the edge over and over again. This series functions incredibly well because it taps into real fears and anxieties. Bedtime Stories uses comedy to comfortably burrow into us just deep enough that it can still tap on our nerves when it wants.
“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t