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Important Things With Demetri Martin - Variety

(Series; Comedy Central, Wed., Feb. 11, 10:30 p.m.) The first episode of "Important Things With Demetri Martin" is much like the comedian himself: Somewhat aloof and not quite sure how to connect with a studio audience while making wry, Seinfeld-esque observations about life's random events. Both his delivery and the show improve in installment No. 2, and one could make a case that by the time the season wraps up, he may have found his comedic groove...if only he would blink occasionally. Martin, who has been a correspondent on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," obviously made an impression on Stewart, who exec produces here via his Busboy Prods. shingle. "Important Things" divvies Martin's skills between stand-up and sketch, and clearly the show's best moments are with the latter, where he can extend a premise without it feeling redundant. It figures that the sketches should be prominent since Beth McCarthy-Miller, one of the show's exec producers, is a longtime "SNL" helmer. Each episode has a theme - the "thing" in the show's title: In the premiere, the theme is "timing." Martin offers mostly silly one-liners on the topic, then switches to a skit in which he and guest star Amanda Peet play actors trying to goad each other into a verbal fight. It's the best part of the episode, and brings the timing premise to life. Like Saturday Night Live , Important Things is often hit and miss, but the simplest way for Martin to smooth over the bumps would be to become more comfortable in the stand-up segment. He's a bit too stiff, and his wide-eyed, unblinking delivery is a distraction. He'd be wise to study "SNL Weekend Update" host Seth Meyers on how to deliver a joke and make it look like you're having a good time doing it. Episode two - this time the premise is "power" - is a substantial improvement. The sketches, including a bit about fighting over a parking space, are more inspired and better executed. Production design is rather simple, on par with a low-budget sketch show. Source