Whether you want to call it a comedy or a documentary is up to you; even HBO is not sure what to call it. I lean on the side of calling it an HBO Comedy Special, as there are not many of them these days, though HBO has categorized it as a ‘mockumentary.’ Well, yeah, it is a spoof of HBO Sports documentaries; I can see that. Again, either way it the end result is the same –7 DAYS IN HELL serves you up one great volley of hilarious comedy. The comedic timing is swift and rough, but a treat indeed. Couple that with some surprises and the 43 minute special races by.
Having said all that let me also point out that 7 DAYS IN HELL was stretching it to make that 43 minutes. It certainly shouldn’t have gone on longer, but 30 minutes would have been plenty long enough. Why, you ask? Like a lot of comedies, in both movie and TV, a premise can often wear pretty thin. Sadly, this comedic bit seemed to be one of them. It has a great setup with the highly competitive Wimbledon matchup. It had two diverse lead players in Aaron Williams (Andy Samberg of Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and Charles Lloyd Poole (Kit Harington of GAME OF THRONES). Plus, it had fun cameos throughout like Howie Mandel, June Squibb & Fred Armisen and plenty of personas playing themselves like David Copperfield and Serena Williams. Actually, those were my favorite bits in the piece and Serena & David were easily my favorite cameos.
Though it was a stretch, for example, it could have eliminated the bit about the sketch artist related to Aaron’s court hearings and all of the sexcapades on Day Four, it had its moments. There was Howie Mandel in the character role of the Duke and it was cool to see Kit in another role besides the late(?) Jon Snow. This type of special just might be the start of a trend as Will Ferrell is on the horizon on spoofing his sport of choice when he offers up his baseball based comedy soon. Hey, we will take our comedy anyway we can get it, right? 7 DAYS IN HELL serves it up well enough.