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"Baskets" (Thursday, 11 and 11:35 p.m., FX) is supposed to be funny. Mostly, it's just plain weird.
I guess that's pretty much what you have to expect in a show created by, produced by and starring Zach Galifianakis, who told TV critics he's "just trying to do something different."
Well, in that case, it's mission accomplished. But if he's also trying to make people laugh, then … this is mission failure.
I watched half a dozen episodes of "Baskets" and the few laughs there were came from someone other than Galifianakis.
He stars as Chip Baskets, a not-so-lovable loser who went to France to study to be a clown, but failed. He's back home in Bakersfield, Calif., and things are not going well for him. He's forced to take a job as a rodeo clown, and he might have to move back in with his mother.
His mother is played by comedian Louie Anderson. In drag, of course.
Anderson and Martha Kelly who delivers a supremely deadpan performance as Chip's downtrodden friend are the best things in "Baskets," which is so aggressively downbeat it washes away most of the humor.
Louis C.K. is onboard here as one of the executive producers, and there are echoes here of "Louie." But while his character in that show is likable and someone you want to root for, Galifianakis' character is so unlikable that, if you encountered this guy in real life, you'd try to get away from him as quickly as possible.
Being different just for the sake of being different doesn't work.