Middleditch & Schwartz (2020)


Season 1
Middleditch & Schwartz

Critics Consensus

A brilliant series of specials sure to spark all kinds of joy, Middleditch & Schwartz is a masterclass in improv comedy.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 13

96%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 150

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Episodes

Air date: Apr 21, 2020

An audience tale of love, music festivals and parking lots leads Thomas and Ben to act out a wild wedding.

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Air date: Apr 21, 2020

Law students, aliens and the state of Maryland all play major roles as Thomas and Ben create a classroom full of unusual characters.

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Air date: Apr 21, 2020

An audience member recounts his unusual internship interview, leading Thomas and Ben to invent an outlandish job-seeking scenario.

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Middleditch & Schwartz: Season 1 Photos

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News & Interviews for Middleditch & Schwartz

Critic Reviews for Middleditch & Schwartz: Season 1

Audience Reviews for Middleditch & Schwartz: Season 1

  • Feb 13, 2022
    Thomas Middleditch and Ben Schwartz showcase some longform improv that's entirely too long in their Netflix special Middleditch & Schwartz. Each hourlong episode features a quick Q&A with an audience member at the beginning which forms the basis for that episode's improvisational comedy. It's a catchy and simple format that starts strong in each episode. It's towards the middle section of the runtime that the format starts to fall apart. The subject matter is simply too threadbare to warrant 50+ minutes each time and the viewer can almost pinpoint when the air starts to let out of the whole thing. The second half of each episode is peppered with a few funny moments and not much else. Perhaps the series would have benefitted from being ten minutes longer in order to fit two smaller improv pieces in a single episode. Perhaps I'm just not a fan of longform improv. But by the second half of each episode I began to long for the days of Whose Line is it Anyway? where the bits never overstayed their welcome and the participants were infinitely more prepared (an oxymoronic take given the format, but there's no denying the sense one gets that the actors in Whose Line were just quicker-witted overall). There are good pieces in here, but the format needs more focus and/or more variety. There are only so many laughs to be collected from the fact that the improv actors can't remember a character's name, or facts about a character that had been established prior and this is what comprises most of the laughs in the second half of these episodes. I don't envy improv actors, their craft is truly one of the most difficult acting jobs, but Middleditch & Schwartz come across as amateurish throughout. If you're a hardcore improv fan there are flashes of greatness, but the picture overall lacks the level of humor required to make it work consistently.
  • Mar 17, 2021
    Amazing - all 3 sets were incredible. I sincerely hope that this leads to more long form improv comedy specials.
  • Jan 29, 2021
    Middleditch & Schwartz was one of the biggest suprises of the last years. The titular duo performed what is perhaps the most creative Netflix comedy special out there, running at a staggering total of three hour-long episodes of completely improvised long form comedy. Each time they craft a story full of belly laughs, recurring themes and bursting of originality, starting only from a short conversation with someone in the audience. You may know Thomas Middleditch as the main actor in HBO's massively underrated Silicon Valley and Ben Schwartz from a hilarious, supporting role in Parks & Rec. Together they are Middleditch & Schwartz, a genuinely exciting stage duo with flawless chemistry, two artists playing off each other's energy to master improv, the jazz of comedy.
  • Jan 15, 2021
    All these rave reviews only go to show how low our comedy standards have become. I got about halfway through the parking lot wedding sketch (don't tell me that the people who prompted that weren't a setup). It was just plain stupid. Real improv involves people re-inventing themselves into whole new characters. OK, I'm an old guy and I still remember Nichols and May. These are just two guys laughing and mugging at their own stale jokes. Waste of time.
  • Dec 16, 2020
    This is cruise ship level humor. Not likeable especially Middleditch
  • Nov 16, 2020
    My God I NEEEEEEEEEEED more episodes. These two souls are just funny and talented. Please make more STAT !
  • Sep 01, 2020
    Does a sensational job of capturing the energy and atmosphere of live improv and the chemistry, wit and ingenuity of Middleditch and Schwartz is addictive and joyous to watch.
  • Aug 06, 2020
    one of my favorite comedy specials ever. had me in tears half the time. i cannot recommend it more
  • Jul 21, 2020
    Never a dull moment with these two improv gems! Their ability to commit to the moment no-matter-what was refreshing and thrilling all at once! There are many moments of pure, laugh out loud cackles. A joy to watch!
  • Jul 17, 2020
    F**k hilarious, amazing, their stories are batsh*t crazy. Can't wait for season 2. Hopefully it happens.

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