Midlife and mid-career comic Bloustien seems like a really lovely chap. As I am a cranky old bafflement, I find this pretty annoying. Of course, there are many people with much better therapists than this reviewer who will take a nice guy at his word. If you’re not one of these and, like me, you tend to pessimism, you might want to scream at this ally-to-everyone “FOR THE SAKE OF SHIT PLEASE HATE SOMETHING”.
In a show that largely engages with the ache of loneliness and the pain of divorce, there is precious little agony. It is entirely possible that Bloustien, unlike most of us, is a truly forgiving mutant who has evolved beyond hurt and blame. This is great for him personally but not for me comically because, like many patrons of the dark art of comedy, if I wanted an uplifting story, I would watch the fucking Oprah channel.
Bloustien is naturally funny and evidently bright and so should be able to deliver more than what is often called “gentle comedy” and what I call “3.5 stars. You’re better than that. Get drunk and do a page-one rewrite”. He’s not without chops so it is entirely possible that what is holding our laughter back is not Bloustien’s lack of talent but his surplus of happiness. The guy is currently quite content — to tell you why would be a spoiler of Herald Sun-level reviewer indiscretion — and this is clearly not good for his art.
Perhaps this review will make him miserable enough to provoke some of the very good work of which I am confident he is capable. If it doesn’t or if he doesn’t find the creative means to bare himself so we can all share, as comedy audiences often need to, in disappointment, then he will continue doing a very creditable job for a gentle room of whimsical hipsters.