‘I Think You Should Leave’ season three falls short of the previous two

Ethan Hurwitz, Sports Editor

Returning to Netflix to much excitement, “I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson” officially dropped on May 30. However, the uber-popular comedy sketch show, headlined by Robinson and co-created by Zach Kanin, did not live up to the hype.

The show, which features a myriad of characters that all seem to get into awkward and uncomfortable situations, has exploded onto the scene as one of Netflix’s best shows. The revolving cast and dry humor works perfectly with the former Saturday Night Live cast member Robinson. 

The biggest gripe I had with the third season was the lack of two actors that helped make the first two seasons memorable — Patti Harrison and Conner O’Malley. Harrison was always the second-best recurring character behind Robinson, playing memorable roles as a table entrepreneur or a christmas joke enthusiast. O’Malley would also slide in as an actor who caught my attention as a loud, passionate music producer. 

This past season, both of them were reduced to one skit each, with Harrison’s role being a side character that doesn’t even speak until the final minutes of the skit. For someone who has and will quote the show on command, it felt like it was missing something super memorable and the lack of two of the show’s stars didn’t help.

And that’s not to say that it wasn’t funny, it was. It just felt more processed than the first 12 episodes that launched in years prior.

For both seasons one and two, there would be an occasional ironic ending skit that would launch a character into a somber monologue set to emotional music (take for instance, a certain fan of a rare cut of steak with water poured all over it). These newer episodes all ended with these types of skits that it just got repetitive over time. 

I’ll break down what I mean by processed. The first two seasons became viral online because of Robinson’s wacky characters and bizarre moments. Season three felt like it was the reverse. Some skits were written like they were intending to go viral and not the other way around. 

Take the opening skit for example. Robinson plays a talk show host who is addicted to his phone, and while that can be a relatable situation for most, it felt like some of the lines were intentionally made for a screenshot. 

A pleasant surprise was some newcomers that joined the ITYSL cast for this year. SNL alums Tim Meadows, Fred Armisen and Beck Bennett all made their debuts for the show and I think that their sketches were some of the most enjoyable. The show revolves around Robinson and his antics, but like the previous two seasons, it was refreshing to see some new blood. 

“I Think You Should Leave” will always be my go-to Netflix show and I love when someone can understand and reciprocate my references, so I think it is important to stress that the season wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination. Skits that involved paying-it-forward in a drive -thru, playing games during work and a designated driver all stood out to me. It just felt like this third installment fell short for my initial reactions.

Now, I realize I may be too harsh in my analysis. The first two seasons are perfect in my eyes and I had my sights way too high on the third. But the show will grow on me and I will learn to come around and love some of these sketches. I might even look back at this article and scoff at how naïve I was. But for the time being, the third season is exactly that – third place.