Goofy Adult Swim Show Is Set In Michigan [Video]
Quirky comic Joe Pera is from Buffalo, NY, which he claims shares a common vibe with Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Okay. I'm willing to believe him.
The Adult Swim breakout hit "Joe Pera Talks With You" features the stiff walking, slow talking Pera showing you his world, which is a very earnest take on small town America. The beauty of it is that he does it without the slightest hint of irony or smugness.
For instance, Joe finds breakfast fascinating. Truly fascinating. And as this episode unfolds you realize his detailed looks at the mundaneness of it all makes him like a Zen master who is so in the moment, everything seems beautiful and necessary. Pera, in this context, almost becomes a modern day Mr. Rogers.
Although the show is mainly shot in nearby Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Joe's nana on the show was found at a Milwaukee fish fry) Joe's character, a middle school music teacher, lives in the Upper Peninsula, and the show is set there. The crew took time to shoot some exteriors in the UP.
As to why Pera chose to set the show in Michigan, he recently told the Detroit Free Press:
We ended up there for the Christmas special I did a year and a half ago... I kept going back and I realized it had a lot in common with Buffalo, where I grew up, the type of people and the sense of humor. The nature around it made it more interesting and visually beautiful. The things I learned about the history were fascinating to me.
The critics at IndieWire declare the show is so infectious, it will "make you happy to be alive, ten minutes at a time."
They also noticed the show does something no other show on television does:
Some of Pera’s most satisfying adventures happen with him by his lonesome and he’s all the better for it. It’s not because of neglect or tragedy; there’s just an inherent appeal the occasional solo adventure that few TV shows have the patience to indulge this much or this well.
You may notice that Joe's world is populated by people way older than he is. I'm not sure if this is a metaphor for this way of life slowly dying away, but it stands out.
I will warn you. "Joe Pera Talks With You" is not for everybody. Some will flat out hate it, and that's your right. But if you can slow down for a minute, Joe Pera will teach you that there is still joy in the slow middle of a fast paced world.
"Joe Pera Talks With You" airs Sunday nights at midnight on Adult Swim.