In its four seasons, Room 104 has experimented with many different formats. “Oh Harry!” sees the anthology series enter into the realm of sitcoms. Kevin Nealon stars as Harry, a typical father who lives his in a hotel room while his house is being renovating. A head injury causes Harry’s life to take a turn for the strange as he begins to notice strange things.
Sitcoms have a recognizable pace and pattern. There are plenty of writing differences between Three’s Company and Friends, but structurally they are very similar. This can be seen in “Oh Harry!”. Director Mel Eslyn does a great job of mimicking the sitcoms of earlier years. This makes the episode one of the funnier ones from Room 104’s run. The comedy reaches a level of satire that is not so much about making fun of something as it is about paying homage. This can be seen in the title sequence of the show which will remind many of Home Improvement.
The show does not just stick to comedy, however. There are moments of drama and horror during the course of “Oh Harry!” The show does a great job of integrating all emotions into the episode. This is especially difficult since it has a relatively short run time. What helps is having a strong cast. Kevin Nealon is fantastic as Harry. The former Saturday Night Live member is a natural when it comes to the comedic parts of Room 104. What really stands out is how he also holds up his end in the parts that require more than just comedy. It is inspired casting that works for the best in the end.
Room 104 has run the gamut from horror to thriller to comedy. Episode five of the fourth season gives fans a little bit of everything. The sitcom spoof has its fair share of comedy while also including surprising bits of drama and even terror. Strong performances makes this experiment a fun one to watch.
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