Review: “Stevie TV” on VH1

Stevie Ryan has a compelling screen presence and an ability to impersonate many of today’s pop stars and celebutards that populate the basic cable landscape, so her transition to TV with Stevie TV on Vh1 makes sense. Three episodes into its first season, it’s also apparent that Ryan and co-creators Dan Levy and James Kirkland are trying to keep it topical with at least one segment each week that addresses a current pop-culture headline.

Here’s a sizzle reel of Stevie Ryan and her impersonations, which include Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Drita from Mob Wives, Audrina Patridge, Kendra Wilkinson, Justin Bieber, Deena from Jersey Shore,¬†Zooey Deschanel and more. Roll it.

What is surprising so far, though, is the lack of laugh-out-loud moments in the sketches. Something seems a bit off — whether it’s in the writing or the execution. It’s not that the series is groan-inducing (see: E!’s After Lately), but it suffers in comparison to another new sketch comedy series on the air this spring, Comedy Central’s Key & Peele.

Then again, Vh1’s audience already has proven itself to be very forgiving with what non-music programming they’ll watch and obsess over.

The Stevie TV debut two weeks ago attracted about 400,000 viewers each for its 9 and 11 p.m. airings.

It’ll be interesting to see whether Ryan, who has tens of millions of views for her multiple YouTube channels, makes a successful leap to the small screen — or if her sketches resonate more back on her new Stevie TV YouTube channel. Either way, expect to see a lot more of Ryan on whatever technological device you use to watch parody videos in the future.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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