The thing about gambling is sometimes you win, sometimes you break even and often you lose. With Dice, the career resurrection of Andrew Dice Clay has suffered a loss and, as I say in my video review above, gone two steps forward and five steps back in the process.
Debuting on April 10, Showtime’s six-episode half-hour pseudo-autobiographical series is simply not the once very controversial comedian’s best work – and he’s playing a couple of different versions of himself.
Having had big wins in roles in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, NBC’s The Blacklist and the Martin Scorsese-directed pilot of HBO’s Vinyl, Dice — as he and everyone calls the man born Andrew Clay Silverstein — simply rolls snake eyes in Dice.
Created by Old School’s Scot Armstrong, Dice finds Dice living in Las Vegas trying to make ends meet and pull off one of those American second acts that F. Scott Fitzgerald foolishly once dismissed. Sounds like a solid enough premise, right? Yes, but lacking a “less is more” approach, to quote the poet Robert Browning, the execution kind of goes nowhere.
As I also say in my video review, once you get past the much-repeated point that Dice, the prejudicial and foul-mouthed comedian and Andrew, the kind and sensitive guy from Brooklyn, are not the same persona, all you are left with is some sadness, and nostalgia for the glory days of 1990 and selling out Madison Square Garden. Dice the show is also a reminder of just how very good Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm was at this meta genre and how hard that is to replicate. Yes, there are a few funny bits in the show, a strong performance by Natasha Leggero as Dice’s girlfriend and a great appearance by Adrien Brody as a version of himself looking for some method role research, but otherwise Dice is just below the standard Dice has been playing at in recent years.
With the first episode already up online in preview, Showtime is putting up all of Dice on their digital platforms just before the show premieres on Sunday. Check out Episode 2, “Ego” with Brody, and then skim the rest for the rare gem – again, less would have been so much more.
Check out my video review of Dice and tell us what you think of this latest turn in the career of the man who got famous by reciting dirty nursery rhymes.