For all of the comedies on HBO that I am aware of and/or watch, not only did I not know about the animated incarnation titled The Life & Times of Tim, but that it ran for several seasons, with the last completing its three season run in early 2012. The show includes an amalgamation of voices new and familiar in the show's brief history. With the final episodes now on video, we can take one final stroll through Tim's stories.
For those unfamiliar with the show, Tim is voiced by Steve Dildarian, whose animated Angry Unpaid Hooker short was the inspiration for the show. Tim works in New York and has a girlfriend named Amy (M.J. Otto), and Tim tends make really dumb decisions, sprinkles on some lies and bravado and eventually winds up in some Gervais-like situations that easily make one cringe. Tim's friends are Stu (Nick Kroll, The League) and Rodney (Matt Johnson), and the three of them work at OmniCorp for their boss Percy (Peter Giles, Yes Man). This corp group of characters interacts over half hour episodes that are split into two fifteen-minute segments full of hilarity and occasional strange experiences.
Upon first glance, the show's animation combined with the somewhat deadpan delivery of many of the cast harkens back to Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, which it should be noted may not be for everyone. And perhaps subconsciously, the need to overcompensate for that with guest characters who are either loud or may cause one to bristle because the jokes may be hard to pick up on for the average viewer. While watching the season, I found this a bit unfair to the show, as one who likes many of his jokes like his likes his martinis, the jokes tended to land more than they missed. With Kroll, those will find an identifiable voice that gives the viewer some trust built into the characters and he delivers this nicely.
Kroll is the bacon-wrapped appetizer in this menu however, and as far as carrying the action within the show, Dildarian and Otto have a good amount of chemistry, but as far as the humor goes tends to fluctuate in quality. I got more than a few laughs out of the season's third episode ("The Caddy's Shack and The Sausage Salesman" segments), but it follows what ultimately was a flat episode beforehand with a segment titled "Cool Uncle Stu Balls" that at times felt extremely long in watching and a waste of Kroll's otherwise sharp sensibilities. In that sense, The Life & Times of Tim is frustratingly erratic; you want the show to do better than it seems to for itself, and that is something that dominates the show's third and final season.
In joining any show for the first time midway or at the end of the show's lifetime, one could easily be apprehensive about prior character mythology that may have been missed which would require the viewer to catch-up somehow. The Life & Times of Tim does not give us this as there is nothing to really ramp up on thankfully. But it does tend to wallow in the mire of conversational nonplussed jokes a little too often for its own good. There may be a cult following for this show, but I would presume they have since found other, much better products worthy of their devotion. RIP Tim.
The ten episodes of the third season of The Life & Times of Tim are spread evenly over two discs and are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The colors used in the animations are reproduced faithfully with little to no saturation concerns, and the image is relatively clean and devoid of haloing or artifacts in the image. As far as animated television shows go, this looks solid.
Dolby Digital 5.1 surround rules the day, but the show does not really take much advantage of the soundtrack. The soundstage is clean and somewhat innocuous, with an occasional effect or panning moment to remind you that it is a soundtrack that occupies a few speakers. Moments of more dynamic action are natural sounding, though the low end does not provide for any moments of subwoofer engagement.
Not a thing.
The final season of The Life & Times of Tim may not bring closure to characters that perhaps some may have hoped for, but to do so would be an insult to the overall tone of the show. On its own merits, the show does provide some solid humorous moments in parts, while others fall on deaf laughing muscles. Technically it is solid though unspectacular, and some bonus material would have been nice, though its exclusion is understandable. I'd start with other seasons, but this serves as an average change of pace to one's television viewing schedule.