Tim Cramblin (Tim Robinson) and Sam Duvel (Sam Richardson) have come a long way since Season 1 of “Detroiters” began. Their rise in the world of B-List advertising — in the absence of Tim’s father, Big Hank (Kevin Nash) — has been a heartfelt and hilarious journey to behold.
But what goes around comes around — and all it takes is the humbling return of Chrysler’s former VP of Marketing, Carter Grant (Jason Sudeikis), to cut our heroes down to size.
When the season began, Sam and Tim were doing their hustlin’ best to maintain the reputation of Big Hank’s ad agency. A surprise run-in with Carter Grant was a big opportunity for our boys — which they ended up squashing by accidentally running the man over with their car, leaving him for dead with a potato chip bag over his head.
After these hazardous beginnings, Sam and Tim found their groove in the commercial world — setting up ad campaigns for everyone from Devereaux Wigs (a company that totally uses the hair of dead people) to the law firm of off-beat attorney Roz Chunks (Cecily Strong). But it’s their “Quick Rick Mahorn from Dearborn” spot — starring the Detroit Pistons’ own Rick Mahorn — that puts our heroes in the running for a prestigious “D” award.
At this industry event, Sam and Dean come face-to-face with Grant, and learn of his complete downward spiral: After the accident, his wife left him, which led to Carter falling off the wagon, which led to a bizarre MMA knee injury, which led to a Luke Skywalker-style robot hand, which led him to this awards ceremony… After all this time, Grant is somehow still at Chrysler, though his near-death experience led to his unfortunate demotion to a cubicle.
If Sam and Tim never met Carter Grant, none of these awful things would’ve happened to the man. And it’s in these tragically poetic circumstances that “Detroiters” brings Sam and Tim back to square one. Through all their odd exploits — and wonderful homages to the Motor City — these childhood friends have built Cramblin & Duvet up from the scraps Big Hank left before he was institutionalized.
As much as we want them to win, this “Dumb and Dumber”-style friendship doesn’t disappoint in setting up little successes for Sam and Tim, the better to trip over their own silly mistakes. And while their work generally has an absurdist and amateur quality — clearly the minds behind the show and characters revel in creating bizarre, out-of-tune, ridiculous ideas for campaigns — it’s clearly important that the work never suffer too much. So: Light success, slight failure… Which they only occasionally notice at all.
They are capable of acknowledging their mistakes, though. As goofy as their pairing is, Sam and Tim are as lovable as they are moral — and they finally fess up to Carter… Which, as you’d expect, goes horribly for the two ad men. Getting even, Carter turns the table on our heroes, running them over with his own car.
The season ends with the bodies of Cramblin and Duvet out in the woods, potato chip bags over their heads. Taking things full-circle, Season 1 of “Detroiters” ends where it originally began: On two best friends, whose futile drive to greatness is outweighed only by their love for one another. And they’ll need both of those more than ever, now that they’ve hit a new kind of bottom.
But the great thing is, from their perspective — and with their delightfully particular approach and attitude — there’s only one way things can go: Up.
“Detroiters” Season 2 will return in 2018 to Comedy Central.