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Another Period premieres strong with incest and sibling rivalry

I’ve waited for Another Period for a while now and tonight did not disappoint. And, yes, Jason Ritter’s character was a total “brother I’d like to f***,” but the show is so much more than that.

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Another Period has already rightfully earned comparisons to Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Downton Abbey. But claiming that the new hit comedy is a mash-up of the two just doesn’t do it justice. At the end of the first 30 minutes, one thing is abundantly different about Another Period: It’s actually entertaining. I’m not hating. KUWTK and Downton are both enthralling shows. It’s easy to get caught up in the people-watching aspect of KUWTK and even easier to get sucked into the drama on Downton. But there’s something missing from those two gems that is easily found in Another Period.

My best guess as to what it is? Comedy… and incest.

Before the second commercial break, the “scandal” and silliness were underway when Lady Beatrice Bellacourt and Frederick (Jason Ritter) found themselves together in a bedroom. For the first time all day, they were finally “alone.” By alone, of course, they meant in a room where each wall was lined with servants. The absurdity continued when Beatrice whimpered about not understanding why they couldn’t be together and Frederick reminded her that they were brother and sister. That didn’t stop them from throwing down on the bed, though. At least, you know, after Beatrice was undressed for Frederick by her servants and then Frederick’s keepers did the same for him. It was a long, awkward process, but Ritter had no problem acting up his arousal as his sister’s dress was painstakingly tugged off her lithe frame. The ridiculousness of it all was brilliantly played out by Ritter and Riki Lindhome (Beatrice), which made the whole thing even funnier.

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What Downton lacks in incest, it makes up for in sibling rivalry, which was another topic touched on by Another Period. After spending half the show thinking Frederick’s only two sisters were Beatrice and Lillian, we eventually meet the third sister. She’s homely, apparently barren and cares more about a better society instead of climbing its ladder. Gasp! In other words, Hortense (who they’ve nicknamed “Hor”) is the Edith of the family. The jokes at Hor’s expense would be rude in the real world, but in the show they blend perfectly and, honestly, make a very real comment on how women were often treated during the time period.

The two prettier Bellacourt sisters and their mother are vapid, snotty and idiotic. But they’re also perfectly played and absolutely the two best, funniest characters on television. Round it out with the sisters’ husbands (who are cheating on them with each other), their sassy butler (played by Michael Ian Black) and the new girl servant, Chair (Christina Hendricks), and this ensemble cast has the makings of a true winner this season.

What can I say? I’ve only spent half an hour with the Bellacourts and I’m already ready for a full 12 hours or more. Is it too soon to ask for four seasons and a movie? I’ll take however much Another Period Comedy Central will give me.

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