Leave it to Netflix to cherry pick an eccentric little streaming gem, launched in obscurity and out of production for four years, and vault it into a Top-10 hit.

I’ve been a fan of Loudermilk since screening it in 2017 as an offering from AT&T’s Audience Network, a short-lived system that cranked out three seasons of this series, showed two and went defunct.

Amazon’s Prime Video stepped in and streamed all three seasons starting in 2021. This past week it premiered on Netflix, and according to the audience aggregate service Reelgood, it is currently the ninth most-viewed series in all of television, right up there with True Detective, Mr and Mrs Smith, Feud, Masters of the Air and the third season premiere of Abbot Elementary.

Noticing that it had arrived on Netflix earlier this week, I re-watched the first three episodes and, damn, got hooked again. Here is my review from 2021:

Loudermilk (Amazon Prime Video). The perfect stuck-at-home, isolation binge. This silly but clever series about music critic-turned-recovery group counsellor Sam Loudermilk (Ron Livingston) makes me laugh out loud.

And to think it almost failed to make it to a third season. The At&T-owned network it was on folded; fortunately, Prime Video swooped in and ordered a third shot-in-Vancouver season. Peter Farrelly from the Farrelly brothers and Bobby Mort are behind it. Much of the humour is pretty saucy and outrageous, but the true gold is in the group of misfits in the support group.

They are like the old Bob Newhart Show‘s therapy gang in their prime, but written for cable. Kudos to a largely Canadian cast, including Will Sasso (the glue on this show as Sam’s sponsor and live-in weasel-y friend, Ben), Eric Keenlyside (hilarious as Father Michael), Anja Savcic (above right), Viv Leacock and Laura Mennell. Standup comedian Brian Regan is a revelation as one of the recovering alcoholics. Fellow standup Jackie Flynn also shines as does Mat Fraser as Roger.

A few updated notes: the series is set in Seattle but was actually shot in Vancouver. Several of the actors are Canadian, including Sasso, Keenlyside, Savcic and Mennell. There is some talk of reviving the series for a fourth season, which I really hopes happens.

One reason Loudermilk stands out now: it is fearlessly funny, especially for a series that began back when cancel culture was at its peak. Livingston’s character is such a jerk and says shocking, politically incorrect things, often, at the top of each episode, to complete strangers. Some viewers will find this off-putting, but to me it is a little bit thrilling. If comedy isn’t challenging and offensive at times, it can get too safe and predictable. Loudermilk is a show that takes risks, and the language is occasionally so casually raw I wouldn’t recommend this to younger viewers. If you’re an adult, however, and you’re looking for something ridiculously funny to wake you up, try Loudermilk.


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