‘Chad’ Review

Ferydoon “Chad” Amani, fourteen years old, is a bit of an idiot. He is selfish, obsessive and impatient. He cried when he dropped his hat. He craves fame but can barely cross the threshold without tripping. He casually calls his sister “slut” and “whore” in everyday conversation, and is so amusing that he asks for gifts. she birthday. Worst of all, he thinks he’s grown up.

He is a complete joy.

Key point

Funny, tug-of-war and sweet.

Developed for Fox 5 years ago before moving to TBS, the sitcom shoots a bold and daring scene. Chad created by now 39-year-old star comedian Nasim Pedrad. In 2016, the concept of a 30-year-old woman playing a teenage boy was both extreme and a little alarming – I personally had the macabre vision of Martin Short. Clifford dancing around in my mind that pilot season.

But that was before Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle revolutionized teen comedy with their brilliantly surreal Hulu series. PEN15. That was also before PEN15, Big Mouth, Eighth grade and Good boys helped invent dramatic comedy in middle school. Konkle and Erskine have proven that the right performers can easily melt from adult to seventeen before our very eyes.

Pedrad’s precise and youthful personality worked here, honed during her years. Saturday night livecalibrate the exact amount of pampering you need to believe this infuriating protagonist without ever hating him. Chad usually funny, prepared, and sweet: everything this striver aspires to be he can be.

Chad is your average suburban freshman who just wants to fit in with the fun crowd. Too bad his general dishonesty and sometimes erratic attitude hindered his social progress. He’s the type of kid who’s less likely to be a father, takes up all the air in his room, is needy and distracted, and has a hard time controlling his emotions that his exasperated single mother (Saba Homayoon) has given up on accommodating. he. Instead, she, his hyperactive immigrant uncle Hamid (Paul Chahidi) and his young but newly employed sister Niki (Ella Mika) tend to cater to his whims. him to keep the peace, even if that includes letting him whitewash his own Persian and Muslim heritage.

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You probably already know a kid like Chad: The dweeb that’s immature with mischief. People fear growing up, but crave the social capital of taking risks. We watch him lie to his classmate about having sex, then almost immediately pass out when a girl in front runs up to him. We see him wield an ancient Persian sword to impress a group of popular boys, then accidentally injure himself when his plan fails.

In one of the most intriguing episodes of the season, Chad discovers his 12-year-old sister enjoying private drinking parties with her girlfriend. “Enjoy all this for now,” he monologues to a preschooler, “because sooner or later, you’re going to have a damn family to take care of. And before you know it, your little sister, whom you raised to be a beautiful little girl, will turn out to be a giant airman dancing with the devil. A demon named wine”.

His moralism soon turns to conspiracy. Tricking the instinct to bully a moron wearing only an oversized striped polo shirt, these budding girls mean that these budding girls will take him under their wing instead. , nurtured him on his first drink. “Great, now I’m tripping the ball!” he belts out after doing his first scene. Honestly, it warmed my heart.

Pedrad expertly embodies Chad’s fiction, especially in her physical performance. She nailed his underdeveloped teen posture, his awkward, wobbly gait. He runs; he jumps. He sometimes explodes into random aggression, with kimbo chins and flying threats. Other times, he was in tears. He’s a boy still learning how to project toxic masculinity – “Obviously, I’m a big feminist,” he declared to some unimpressed classmates, “but if you could redirecting my malevolent female energy…?” Not one of Pedrad’s grumbles, curses, scoldings or slang words feels excessive. I often burst out laughing at her death over and over again.

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Unlike most early adolescence stories, teenage Chad is not interested in sex, girls, or romance (except for what his strange fabrications might give him). ta). Instead, he only has eyes for his funny man Reid (Thomas Barbusca), a dog with auburn hair that signifies everything Chad wants to possess. Chad had no qualms about abandoning his fondest friends whenever Reid nonchalantly invited him to hang out with his crew; but Reid even neglects to show more emotional intelligence than our hero. “What is it, pimps!” Chad greets these people. “Everyone is ready to jizz?? “

The first half of season eight focuses on Chad’s multitude of shapes – his mother’s charming, seductive boyfriend, Ikrimah (Phillip Mullings Jr.), the Blackness fetish, the K-pop world. But Chad is much more fun when he’s searching for identity than when he’s ironing people around him, so I welcome the show’s eventual change to the development of his relationships. .

This includes a budding rivalry with Denise (Alexa Loo), a classic who is skeptical of Chad’s plots, and a fractured good friendship with Peter (Jake Ryan, genuinely lovely), an intellectual. Owning himself, who is more attractive to the children is more interesting than Chad unwieldy can be. Chad also finds empathy with Hamid, the most tender TV uncle since Rob Brydon’s Bryn on Gavin & Stacey. (Chahidi, who developed her famous charms as a town director on the BBC sitcom This countryis one of the highlights of the cast.)

Chad uses surprising depth and vulnerability, even if you sometimes want to twist this kid’s neck. Damned.

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Actors: Nasim Pedrad, Thomas Barbusca, Paul Chahidi, Jake Ryan, Ella Mika, Alexa Loo, Saba Homayoon, Phillip Mullings Jr.
Created by: Nasim Pedrad
Premieres: Tuesday, April 6, at 10:30 p.m. (TBS)

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