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Whitmer Thomas: The Golden One 

What's it rated? TV-MA

When? 2020

Where's it showing? HBO

click to enlarge musicartsculture_movies3-1-d548fdba6449f805.jpg

It may not sound like the makings of great comedy, but Whitmer Thomas was kidnapped as a child and rescued, and his mother "partied to death." Both these sad events play a large role in this new one-hour HBO comedy special, which mixes his personal life, his family history, and emo music into a deeply confessional, thoroughly entertaining, and remarkably fresh bit of entertainment.

Recorded live at the Flora-Bama, a bar on the state line between Florida and Alabama where his mom and aunt were front-women of the house band, it's something of a homecoming, interspersed with interviews between Thomas and his estranged aunt, his brother, and his father, not to mention some pre-recorded moments starting in his LA apartment. It's basically him processing his life's trajectory—the kidnapping, his teenage years as an emo musician, his leaving home for LA to try his hand at acting, and the death of his mother. This is unlike any "comedy" special I've seen, but it's absolutely worth seeing. (63 min.) Δ

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