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‘At Home with Amy Sedaris’ review: Sendup of every Food Network series

Learn the joys of cooking fish in the

Learn the joys of cooking fish in the premiere episode of "At Home with Amy Sedaris." Credit: truTV / Robert Trachtenberg

THE SHOW “At Home With Amy Sedaris”

WHEN | WHERE Premieres Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. on TruTV

WHAT IT’S ABOUT Wow. Amy Sedaris (“BoJack Horseman”) has a cooking show! On this one, she will demonstrate to viewers how to gut fish, make “Popsicle stick buddies,” bake a cake filled with holes, create potato sailboats, cook without pots or pans, entertain the grief-stricken and warn children about the dangers of home crafts. Plus much, much more. Sedaris, who stars, co-created this with Paul Dinello (who also starred with her on the TV series, “Strangers With Candy,” about an adult woman who returned to high school to get her diploma, which was later adapted into a movie).

MY SAY “Strangers With Candy” was a late-’90s cult show laced with the vertiginous effects of a particularly potent psychotropic. Incidentally, it also launched the career of Stephen Colbert as well as Sedaris’. Colbert went on to host a late-night program, and Sedaris, at long last, finally gets hers. Remarkably, or predictably, the psychotropic has yet to wear off: Sedaris remains, as ever, hilarious, inventive, unbalanced and deeply, joyously, shamelessly twisted. Her new show’s not bad either.

“At Home” is a sendup of every Food Network series you could imagine, but especially of a type of show that began to proliferate in the late ’50s — that risibly exuberant cooking program that eventually inspired culinary TV empires like “The Frugal Gourmet,” “Barefoot Contessa,” “Paula’s Home Cooking” and “30 Minute Meals.”

“At Home With Amy Sedaris” is each of those, on acid.

Tuesday’s launch, about the joys of cooking fish, begins with an emblematic Sedaris riff: “Fish! A strange, coldblooded and limbless creature that thrives in the stuff we drown in. A thing of nightmares. But when battered and pan-fried, scrumptious!” 

Next Tuesday’s episode goes further afield, to the art of home crafts. There is a cautionary segment at the outset: “So many of you have discovered the joy of crafting, only to have that turn to tragedy, ranging from paper cuts to murder.” As “At Home” further establishes, snakes can also be a menace while making crafts. 

 The episodes feature cameos by various Sedaris minions: Paul Giamatti, as a businessman with a sordid side; Nick Kroll, playing an amorous and unsavory friend, Randy Fingerling; John Early, as a thespian who offers her free tickets to his latest production along with acting lessons. Colbert arrives in next Tuesday’s episode playing himself. The old friends and Second City alumni don’t miss a beat.

 Will you like this show? Yes, if you happen to love Amy Sedaris — and really, who doesn’t?

BOTTOM LINE Insane, in a good way (and as Sedaris long ago established, there actually is a good way).


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