‘The Rank Room’ TV show review
By Jacey Gibb, Distribution Manager
The jokesters over at CollegeHumor launched their own comedy streaming platform Dropout TV. I’m here to tell you if their exclusive content is worth the subscription fee.
Similar to long-running sketch shows like Saturday Night Live or In Living Color, CollegeHumor’s cast has been a revolving door of comedians over the years. Some spent the larger part of a decade writing and starring in the website’s sketch videos, while others disappeared almost as suddenly as they’d arrived.
Katie Marovitch’s rise at CH was gradual but well-earned. She first began popping up as a background character in 2014, and by the following year she was a prominent fixture in most of their sketches, even developing her own recurring subplot of having a pesky coke addiction (I swear, it’s funnier than it sounds on paper). Marovitch is one of the most senior cast members around, and it’s an absolute joy seeing her flex her hosting muscles in the new Dropout series The Rank Room.
Back in 2018, CollegeHumor began debuting long-form videos, secretly measuring interest for the content ultimately offered on present-day Dropout. The Rank Room was one of said series released and it remains one of the funniest—even as it makes the jump from web series to full-on television show.
In each episode, Marovitch is joined by three other cast members to debate life’s burning questions, such as “What is the best thing to find in a treasure chest?” or “What is the best invention not invented yet?” Each person comes prepared with two answers, and they take turns defending and critiquing each offering. At the end of the episode, one answer is chosen somewhat arbitrarily by Marovitch and emerges victorious.
Every aspect of Rank Room works here, from the cast members donning formal dresswear to the dramatic music overplaying at different heated moments. The show could almost pass for a serious debate if it weren’t for the absurd prompts and answers given, or the periodic fits of laughter. The cast members have an incredible amount of fun, which shines through in the final product.
The increased budget for The Rank Room has also paid off wonderfully, with a war room-style set and added graphics to complement the show’s hijinks. Using the CollegeHumor office as the setting worked for the web series iteration, but the overall feel for The Rank Room has been punched up a notch—even though they’re still debating ridiculous things, like inventing a heated glovebox to keep your takeout food warm in between destinations. The show’s credits and outro for each episode also double down on the show’s concept, but I won’t say anything more to keep it a pleasant surprise.
When Dropout TV was in its beta stage last fall, most of its programs left me feeling indifferent. I kept my subscription because of its low cost, but also with the prior experience of knowing how funny CollegeHumor is when it’s firing on all comedic cylinders. The Rank Room is the third hit in a row (following up Total Forgiveness and WTF 101, which I both highly recommend) and if Dropout can maintain this momentum, there’s no telling what the streaming service is capable of.
Full episodes of The Rank Room are only available on Dropout TV. If you want a sampling though, check out the four web episodes available on YouTube. (In particular, the debut episode on “What is the sexiest way to die?” is an absolute riot.)