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You're Whole

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You're Whole
The letters "Y" and "W" in concentric circles
Genre
  • Comedy
  • Satire
Created by Michael Ian Black
Written by Michael Ian Black
Directed by Michael Showalter
Starring
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 8 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Franny Baldwin
  • David Soldinger
Cinematography
  • Kevin Atkinson
  • Ron Egozi
Running time 11 minutes
Production company(s)
Release
Original channel Adult Swim
Picture format 16:9 1080i HDTV
Original release November 5, 2012 (2012-11-05) – December 2, 2013 (2013-12-02)
External links
You're Whole Home
Production website

You're Whole is an American satirical television series created by Michael Ian Black for Adult Swim. The show parodies self-help infomercials and stars Black as the host, Randall Tyree Mandersohn. In it, Mandersohn advertises his systems of objects and actions designed to help people with their issues. It was the production of Abominable Pictures, with which Black originally consulted with the premise of the show in mind. Meanwhile, Michael Showalter, longtime collaborator of Black, served as the director.

The show originally ran from November 5, 2012 to December 2, 2013, airing two seasons and totaling eight episodes. Both seasons were broadcast at 4:00 a.m. as part of DVR Theater on Adult Swim. On air, it was promoted as a series of genuine infomercials. Critical reception was positive, with many praising Black's performance. A live performance was held at the 2014 SF Sketchfest, also positively received.

Synopsis and production[edit]

Michael Ian Black holding a microphone at a stand-up comedy performance
Show director Michael Showalter (left) is a frequent collaborator of creator Michael Ian Black (right).

You're Whole is presented as a parody of self-help infomercials.[1] Each episode is advertised as part of a larger DVD set, consisting of 27 discs. The show features Michael Ian Black as the host, Randall Tyree Mandersohn: a "totally blind", volleyball-obsessed, self-help guru. Along with his wife, Pam (Cathy Shim), Mandersohn aims to help people using his bizarre, convoluted systems of objects and actions. The show was directed by Michael Showalter, a longtime collaborator of Black.[2] Actor Crista Flanagan indicated that the second season was filmed as recently as August 2013.[3]

In a June 2014 interview with the Detroit Metro Times, Brown stated that no further seasons would be produced. Writing retrospectively the amount of research put into the show, Black stated that he "didn't spend a lot of time thinking about it", as it would have spoiled "some of the stupidity", joking that "I'm nothing if not stupid".[4] Abominable Pictures producer David Soldinger later wrote that Brown had come to the company with the idea in mind, and that, with their other parody infomercial Swords, Knives, Very Sharp Objects and Cutlery, "it was a happy marriage" between their company and Adult Swim.[5]

Live performance[edit]

A live performance of the show was given at the 2014 SF Sketchfest on January 31.[6] In addition to acting, Black and Showalter interlaced it with clips from the show. Art Siriwatt of The Daily Californian observed Showalter to be the "straight man" to Black's antics, with both frequently breaking character. He gave the performance a positive review, writing that "the result was a concise, lighthearted performance that was faithful to the show."[7]

Broadcast and reception[edit]

The show premiered on November 5, 2012 on Adult Swim; two seasons have been broadcast, totaling eight episodes.[8] Advertised as a series of genuine infomercials, both seasons were broadcast at 4 a.m., as part of the network's DVR Theater block.[9] The early-morning timeslot was chosen since infomercials usually air during such hours.[4] The first episode was published on YouTube the day after its premiere.[1] One critic—Eliot Glazer of Vulture—called the early morning time slot "terrible", directing readers toward online distribution.[10] Although the show premiered during a graveyard slot in U.S. dayparting,[11] nearly one million viewers (993,000) saw it on air.[12] The second season premiere marked a slight increase in viewers (996,000), while both maintained a Nielsen rating of 0.7.[13]

Critical reception was positive, with many reviewers praising Black's performance and the satirizing of American self-help gurus, as conveyed through his casual racism and cultural appropriation of foreign rituals.[14] Erik Adams of The A.V. Club found that the show conveys itself "in a manner familiar to anyone who's ever killed time before daylight by flipping through their cable package."[2] Britt Hayes of ScreenCrush called the show "absolutely fantastic" and Black's portrayal "spot-on".[15] Similarly, Aisha Harris of Slate wrote that Black's performance was "wonderfully committed", while the show "has pretty much every common trope of the self-help craze covered", citing the appropriation of foreign customs for Western audiences as "perhaps the most scathing treatment".[16]

Meanwhile, Kelly West of Television Blend highlighted some of the more surreal systems, calling the diet in the premiere episode "a winner".[1] For Splitsider, Bradford Evans dubbed the show "a more mainstream version"[17] of Paid Programming, an unsuccessful pilot that was also pitched as a mock-infomercial. He found that starring Black, "recognizable as a comedic actor," would lead to its success, whereas the former preferred to use unknown actors instead.[17]

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (2012)[edit]

You're Whole season 1 episodes
No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date Production
code
U.S. viewers
(in millions)
1 1 "Smoothies/Pumpkins/Cookies" November 5, 2012 (2012-11-05) 101 0.993[12]
Highlights include: the SPC diet—consisting of smoothies, pumpkins and cookies.
2 2 "Finger Puppets/Saxophone/Fish Tank" November 12, 2012 (2012-11-12) 102 0.803[18]
Highlights include: Finger puppets, saxophones and fish tanks.
3 3 "Tools/Drawing Comics/Spin Class" November 19, 2012 (2012-11-19) 103 0.943[19]
Highlights include: Working with tools, drawing comics, and "spin class".

Season 2 (2013)[edit]

You're Whole season 2 episodes
No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date Production
code
U.S. viewers
(in millions)
4 1 "Droppin' the 'G'/Ancient Egypt/Puffy Paints" November 4, 2013 (2013-11-04) 201 0.996[13]
Highlights include: ancient Egypt and "puffy paints".
5 2 "Lemonade/Fishing/Cupcakes" November 11, 2013 (2013-11-11) 202 1.027[20]
Highlights include: lemonade, fishing and cupcakes.
6 3 "Finding Love" November 18, 2013 (2013-11-18) 203 0.829[21]
Randall demonstrates how to find true love using his "Use the Tongue" method.
7 4 "Attitude" November 25, 2013 (2013-11-25) 204 0.903[22]
Randall addresses the topic of attitude, instructing his audience to walk like panthers while adding "SPiCE" to his "revolutionary" eating system.
8 5 "Propofol/Telescopes/Abraham Lincoln" December 2, 2013 (2013-12-02) 205 1.057[23]
Highlights include: propofol, telescopes and Abraham Lincoln.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c West, Kelly (November 6, 2012). "Michael Ian Black Enthuses About You're Whole: Watch Adult Swim's Infomercial Parody". Television Blend. Cinema Blend. Archived from the original on July 8, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Adams, Erik (November 6, 2012). "Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter's new infomercial parody now available for people who enjoy sleeping". The A.V. Club. Onion Inc. Archived from the original on July 8, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2013. 
  3. ^ Flanagan, Crista (August 5, 2013). "Adult Swim’s You’re Whole". Official website of Crista Flanagan. Archived from the original on July 8, 2014. Retrieved May 7, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Staff writer (June 11–17, 2014). "Chewing the fat with Michael Ian Black". Detroit Metro Times 34 (35). Euclid Media Group. Archived from the original on September 11, 2014. Retrieved February 10, 2015. 
  5. ^ Adams, Erik (January 6, 2015). "What's it like to make an Adult Swim infomercial?". The A.V. Club. Onion Inc. Archived from the original on January 7, 2015. Retrieved February 10, 2015. 
  6. ^ "You're Whole with Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter". SF Sketchfest. December 11, 2013. Archived from the original on July 8, 2014. Retrieved May 7, 2014. 
  7. ^ Siriwatt, Art (February 13, 2014). "SF Sketchfest reveals the real stories of comedians". The Daily Californian. The Independent Berkeley Student Publishing Company. Archived from the original on July 8, 2014. Retrieved May 7, 2014. 
  8. ^ For the first season, see "You're Whole: Season 2012". Zap2it. Tribune Media Services. Archived from the original on June 22, 2013. Retrieved February 7, 2014. 
  9. ^ You're Whole promo. Adult Swim Video (Turner Broadcasting System). November 5, 2012. Archived from the original on July 8, 2014. 
  10. ^ Glazer, Eliot. "Watch Michael Ian Black's New Adult Swim Show, You're Whole". Vulture. New York Media. Archived from the original on July 8, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2013. 
  11. ^ Nathanson, Jon (November 14, 2013). "The Economics of Infomercials". Priceonomics. Archived from the original on July 8, 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Berman, Marc (November 14, 2012). "Adult Swim Weekly Ratings Scorecard". TV Media Insights. Cross MediaWorks. Archived from the original on July 8, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b Pucci, Douglas (November 12, 2013). "Adult Swim Weekly Ratings Scorecard". TV Media Insights. Cross MediaWorks. Archived from the original on July 8, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2013. 
  14. ^ For the use of casual racism, see Adams, Erik (November 6, 2012). "Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter's new infomercial parody now available for people who enjoy sleeping". The A.V. Club. Onion Inc. Archived from the original on July 8, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2013. 
  15. ^ Hayes, Britt (December 6, 2012). "Michael Ian Black's You're Whole Series for Adult Swim is Hilarious, Of Course". ScreenCrush. ScreenCrush Network. Archived from the original on July 8, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2013. 
  16. ^ Harris, Aisha (November 21, 2012). "One of TV's Best New Shows Is a Self-Help Infomercial". Slate. The Slate Group. Archived from the original on July 8, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b Evans, Bradford (November 6, 2012). "Check Out Michael Ian Black's New Adult Swim Show You're Whole Right Here". Splitsider. The Awl. Archived from the original on July 8, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2013. 
  18. ^ Berman, Marc (November 23, 2012). "Adult Swim Weekly Ratings Scorecard". TV Media Insights. Cross MediaWorks. Archived from the original on July 8, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2013. 
  19. ^ Berman, Marc (November 29, 2012). "Adult Swim Weekly Ratings Scorecard". TV Media Insights. Cross MediaWorks. Archived from the original on July 8, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2013. 
  20. ^ Pucci, Douglas (November 19, 2013). "Adult Swim Weekly Ratings Scorecard". TV Media Insights. Cross MediaWorks. Archived from the original on July 8, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2013. 
  21. ^ Pucci, Douglas (November 26, 2013). "Adult Swim Weekly Ratings Scorecard". TV Media Insights. Cross MediaWorks. Archived from the original on July 8, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2013. 
  22. ^ Pucci, Douglas (December 4, 2013). "Adult Swim Weekly Ratings Scorecard". TV Media Insights. Cross MediaWorks. Archived from the original on July 8, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2013. 
  23. ^ Pucci, Douglas (December 10, 2013). "Adult Swim Weekly Ratings Scorecard". TV Media Insights. Cross MediaWorks. Archived from the original on July 8, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2013. 

External links[edit]