Last year, FX presented an edgy new comedy called Legit. Starring Australian comedian Jim Jefferies as a version of himself, the show follows Jim as he tries to be a better person. This usually includes helping his roommate, Steve (Dan Bakkedahl,Veep), and Steve’s severely handicapped brother, Billy (DJ Qualls, Road Trip), with something their lives are lacking, inspired by Jefferies’ actual life. The results are always hilarious, if not rewarding for Jim. Beginning this Tuesday, just ahead of the second season premiere, Legit – The Complete First Season will be released on DVD and Blu-ray.
Billy is confined to a wheelchair, paralyzed below the neck due to muscular dystrophy, but he’s a normal guy who wants to party and get laid. Jim understands this, and does his best to help Billy out, taking him to Vegas and springing him from his home, much to Steve’s chagrin. Even more disapproving is Billy’s mother, Janice (Mindy Sterling, Austin Powers), though Billy’s father, Walter (John Ratzenberger, Cheers), doesn’t seem to mind, and Billy’s nurse, Ramona (Sonya Eddy, General Hospital), mostly comes around to Jim, seeing through his crap.
Right from the start, Legit sets itself apart because of its portrayal of those with disabilities, which has earned it a huge following from that community. Billy himself is a full developed character, seen as someone with the usual needs and dreams, not someone confined or limited by his challenges. Billy’s best friend, Rodney (Nick Daley), has Prader-Willi Syndrome, a genetic disorder, but Jim includes him in the fun, too, and others pop up throughout the season. These people are poked fun at, but only when they’re in on the joke, not at the expense of anyone, and if that line is ever crossed, there are consequences for the person that crosses it. If nothing else, Legit deserves praise for creating dynamic characters of this type, taking what Glee has done a (much raunchier) step forward.
Now, Jim isn’t completely altruistic, at times being downright selfish. He certainly doesn’t treat women nearly as respectfully as he treats his buddies. And his motivations are sometimes mixed. The results of his actions are often bad, at times bordering into gross or creepy. But he is a layered character, someone that is likeable enough, and earns respect because he gives it.
The show itself is told from a very unique perspective. I haven’t had the chance to catch much of Jefferies’ standup routine, so I don’t know how closely the material here hews to it. However, I can’t name another sitcom on television that really comes close to the story or tone of Legit. Like other FX shows such as Wilfred and Louie, the creator has a strong, guiding hand, allowing his voice to really shine through in a very satisfying way. You may not like Legit, it’s certainly not for everyone, especially the easily offended, but it should be easy enough to respect Jefferies and the work that he’s doing.
I mentioned that Legit might be offensive, and that’s very true. There is plenty of humor related to drugs, sex, prostitutes, masturbation, rape, and the like. It’s adult material, and it airs with a TV-MA rating for good reason. However, all of this fits the style and tone, and is used because of the people the show revolves around, not gratuitously. So if you don’t like that stuff, then stay away from Legit and leave it for the rest of us immature viewers to enjoy. Or, better yet, loosen up and give it a chance.
The two disc DVD set contains all 13 episodes of season one, plus a handful of bonus features. This includes a Director’s Cut of the “Pilot,” a gag reel, deleted scenes, commentaries for select episodes, a featurette on Jefferies, and some autotuned Rodney, It’s a good, appropriate mix.
Legit – The Complete First Season is available this coming Tuesday.