Macaulay Culkin revisits Home Alone 25 years on

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘I was just a kid!’ Macaulay Culkin revisits Home Alone’s traumatised Kevin 25 years on in hilarious new web series.

“It’s fu*king Christmas, and your whole family goes on vacation and they forget their eight-year-old fu*king son,” he says to the shocked passenger. “I still have nightmares about this bald weirdo dude chasing me around, talking like Yosemite Sam.Every kid who’s seen Home Alone has daydreamed about being Kevin McCallister, imagining how much fun it would be to fend off two buffoonish burglars by rigging their parents’ house into a giant deathtrap.

Episode One, entitled Just Me In The House By Myself, shows Culkin’s character working as a driver for on-demand car service DRYVRS, apparently a fictional version of Uber. ‘How about this, it’s Christmas time. They remembered my bastard of a brother but they forget me, the cutest fu*king eight-year-old in the universe.” This should be a warning to every parent out there. On the other hand, nobody likes to think about how traumatizing that kind of experience must have been for the cherubic eight-year-old boy who had to live with it; being abandoned by your family on Christmas is bad enough, but having to defend yourself from violent home invaders on top of everything else?

In the same way that each episode of the Web series High Maintenance chronicles the customers our protagonist pot dealer encounters, :DRYVRS stars Dishel as the user of an unnamed car service who has odd interactions with the people who pick him up. Macaulay Culkin may never appear in another Home Alone movie (they’re still making cut-rate sequels!), but thanks to a new web series from comedian and former Moldy Peaches musician guitarist Jack Dishel, we finally know just how badly Kevin McCallister was scarred for life.

The five-minute digital short has Culkin playing an Uber-type driver who unloads his issues on a customer, recalling how he was left at home by his family and had to deal with “two psychopath home invaders. In the debut episode of :DRYVRS, a web series in which an Uber-like cab ride goes horribly wrong every time, Dishel is picked up by an agitated 35-year-old Kevin (played by Culkin, himself). I’m gonna get you, you little scamp!’” Even more unnerving, the thieves didn’t even curse, instead just calling him “‘louse’ and shit like that.” He doesn’t understand how his parents could have forgotten “the cutest fucking 8-year-old in the universe, by far.” Mad Max will roar back out of the apocalypse while Mad Men rides off into the sunset, rock’s Antichrist Superstar and hip-hop’s Yeezus will rise again.

But he did show an utter commitment to the show’s silliness, and when coupled with his innate charm as a performer, led some of the night’s best sketches. That commitment was once again on display tonight, but the material by and large felt half-formed, which stranded both host and crew for a majority of the night. Hemsworth rarely connected live onstage tonight, but he unsurprisingly did very well in this action-movie parody. “I don’t have time to bleed!” is the type of clichéd dialogue that exists in most subpar action films, and this is a sketch that teases out that notion to its logical (albeit extreme) end. It’s never not impressive how quickly SNL can throw something together with this level of complexity and production value. (The physical continuity of Hemworth’s deterioration alone is impressive.) Sasheer Zamata matches Hemsworth beat for beat as his concerned partner, serving as audience proxy for his overly-macho attitude. As someone still somewhat struggling to make herself known to SNL audience, it’s great to see her in a lead sketch role like this. “Time To Bleed” all but announces its endpoint up front, but its execution makes the ride enjoyable.

One could argue (as many within the show as well as outside of it have) that Ferrell’s original performance ended up helping Bush become more electable. But this week, rather than focus on that President’s foibles, it’s all about Bush’s contrast to the current Republican feel and just how well he favorably compares to them, even for his harshest critics. What ensues isn’t a sketch so much as a stand-up routine, and it’s one based not only on current politics but the audience’s relationship to this actor and his place in SNL history.

But the overall effect was an old-school approach to political cold opens, one that felt fresh and vital and will drive a lot of discussion over the next week. Either SNL realizes that having Donald Trump as a host damaged its reputation, or the show is simply having its cake and eating it with its current criticism of him. Some might view that as hypocritical or “too little, too late.” I’m not going to pretend I know the mindset that drove the material tonight, especially the Michael Che/Colin Jost back-and-forth about whether or not Trump actually believes the things he says. Jones’ confusion over its lack of Golden Globes nominations highlighted one of the side effects of what many call the era of Peak TV: She only knows Breaking Bad as a show she can stream online, and has no association to its existence on AMC (or, apparently, even the existence of AMC).

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