Tim is the lone passive, sane voice in an insane world that whirls around him. Take the kooky scenarios you might find in an episode of Seinfeld, animated them (barely) and pepper it with some HBO-acceptable crassness, and you’re looking at this show. Done in a minimalist 2D animation, each episode consists of two separate stories. By splitting the episodes in half, the two chapters make the show resemble the current trend of 10 to 15 minute long cartoons, popularized by Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim” programs.
Stories often end without complete resolution, but always cap themselves off with a punchline. The conflicts he finds himself in range from the domestic, such as work or relationship issues, to the ridiculous, like Tim needing to break a bond he developed with a circus elephant.
Tim is the sort of perpetual victim we are used to seeing in the likes of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Outside of the main plots, Tim constantly finds himself in the sorts of understandings that cannot be immediately (if ever) resolved without a ton of comedic discourse (think, Curb Your Enthusiasm, again, and anything Ricky Gervais does). Whereas some shows can go a bit too far with the awkward scenarios (cough Extras cough cough), but this show cuts things off and starts more or less fresh with a new episode before things can get too uncomfortable for the audience to watch.
This show seemed to be nearly devoid of promotion as far as I’m concerned because I had no idea it existed until it reached my doorstep, and I consider myself pretty savvy when it comes to animated television. That being said, I was very pleased to discover just how hilarious this show is. It takes me to programs that to that tiny place in animation where minimalist shows like Dr. Katz and Kevin Spencer existed, pre-dating shows that stemmed from Space Ghost like Aqua Teen Hunger Force or Harvey Birdman, all of whom thrive on non sequitur humour (though those shows remain hilarious at times as well).
16:9. The animation may be below South Park level, it looks very nice in this DVD. The black lines are sharp and the colour levels looks nice, unless purposefully faded.
Dolby Digital English 5.1 and Spanish 2.0. Using the English track for this review, the Surround sound is used but is largely redundant. Even if there is some background noise that gets placed into the rear speakers, the dialogue always sits on top or overpowers everything else. This show could just about function successfully as a radio show. With that in mind, the dialogue is clear.
Subtitles in English, French, and Spanish.
The Making of The Life & Times of Tim: Most of this is located within the recording booth where all of the actors featured in a particular episode gather to record at the same time, which is often not the case for animated shows.
There is a small portion dedicated to showing the animation process, but that turns out to be all done in ‘Photoshop’ with only two movements given to all characters. Since there was little to say, they went back to the recording booth where more action occurs.
This show has been picked up for a third season by HBO. So, if you are like me and are just discovering this show now, be pleased that you have new episodes to look forward too along with an entire 2 seasons to catch up on. Enjoy.