Critic Consensus: While I'm Dying Up Here hints at untapped potential and deserves praise for authentic period detail, its attempts at affecting drama are undermined by subpar writing and a muddled focus.
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While there's much to be said for the care that has been poured into depicting the decade, the story's portrait of the darkness that drives comedians is, well, pretty familiar.
The show just may find its priorities and zero in on them. There's potential here, all over the place, waiting to be pulled together.
I'm Dying Up Here convincingly recreates both a period and the primal scream existence of would-be star comedians who seem to most enjoy trading very barbed insults during frequent gatherings at a local diner.
For as much as it wants to parallel the present with candid stories on sexism, racism, and more material covered by the era's edgiest comics, I'm Dying Up Here still feels stuck in the past.
Too little of it feels lived-in or genuine. And that's a fatal flaw that extends to the overwritten scripts as well. For a show about being authentic, I'm Dying Up Here too often comes off as remarkably fake.
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