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Maria Bamford’s new web series wants to put you in The Program

Maria Bamford’s comedy often contrasts, to great effect, the darker aspects of the American experience—anxiety, mental illness—with her chipper tone and tendency toward silly voices. That same sensibility is on display in The Program, a new Funny Or Die web series about compulsive debtors, co-written by Bamford and comedian Melinda Hill.

The series is about a 12-step program for people who take out too many student loans, put $50,000 on credit cards, or, in the case of Mike, played by George Basil, “owe a lot of money to Red Lobster.” Alongside Bamford and Hill, the series co-stars Mr. Show’s Jerry Minor as a new member to the group, and Oscar Nuñez from The Office as Kevin, who’s “on new meds.” The first episode is mostly set-up, but it does feature some great moments as the characters express their visions for the future, and the steps they’re taking to reach them—Bamford’s character, Peace, has applied for an anxiety-inducing part-time flex position at a bead store, while Kevin is working toward his goal of making $5000 a week by having Activia Yogurt wrap his Hyundai.

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