Season Three of "Baskets" Lets Martha Take Center Stage


I feel like I am one of a small bunch of people that watch the highly underrated show "Baskets". In fact, I wrote about how incredible Louis Anderson is as Zach Galifanikis' mom on the show. You read that right. The show just had its third season premiere about 3 weeks ago. I was excited for this season because last season ended on a big cliff hanger, and I wanted to see where they took every character's story from there. I was also pumped because a show like this was getting another opportunity to grow. I feel like FX is one of the few networks that will let a show grow. They will give it time to really suss out stories and characters.

This season, so far, has been doing just that, and today, I want to focus on another actor on the show that I think is doing a wonderful job. In previous seasons, Martha, played by Martha Kelly, has kind of been Chip's, one of the twins Galifinakis plays, sidekick. She is his ride everywhere. She will drop whatever she is doing to help him, and his family out. She has a full time job at Costco, in their main department. She helps take care of her mom. She is a main character on the show, and this season they are really letting her show some growth and change. In the first 2 seasons Martha was kind of a pushover. As I said, she would kind of stop whatever she was doing to help out the Basket family. At the start of this season we come to find out that she is seeing a self help coach, and this coach seems to be really teaching her how to be strong and forthright and honest. She is letting Chip know that she cannot boss him around. She is doing more things for herself. She is definitely standing up for herself. It is great.

In the most recent episode there is a self help retreat the she and Chip were invited to, and this episode has let Kelly do some of her best work. Martha is very monotone, and usually upbeat no matter what the circumstance. She pretty much always sees the bright side. Well, in the second episode, she is the pessimist when it comes to Chip looking for a new home. She continually lets him know that he can't afford the places he really wants, and even pulls him, physically, out of one of the condos he is considering. Well, in the next episode, we see Chip has bought the condo. I then remember that Martha brought him to one of the seminars, and the teacher took an immediate liking to him, and encouraged him to ask his mom, Anderson, for a loan. He got it, and the class loved it. Well, everyone except Martha. Now, in the last episode, we see Chip ask her to borrow her car, and even though he takes it, this is the first time we really see her fight him on it. She really needs her car, but Ship is selfish. Then, when she sees that they are both at this seminar, she gets pissed. She even tells him that the self help thing is her thing, and he is infringing on her time. She tells the teacher as much. When the teacher tells her that she is going to take Chip on a walk, you can see Martha get even more angry. Then, when they are preparing dinner later, after Martha has had one too many drinks, the real truth comes out. Chip claims to be a vegan, which Martha knows is untrue, and she lets him know it. She tells him, in only the way that an actor like Kelly can, and it is awesome. She calls him on his bullshit, but it is very monotone, and if I didn't know her like I do, I'd think she was being sincere. She was not. She is drunk and mad. So mad that she even calls Peter Cetera, who is at this retreat, that he is a "pussy", "because the potatoes aren't that hot". It is a real great performance from an actor that really deserved her chance to shine on this show. She totally knocks it out of the park, and my love for her character only grew after seeing this. It shows that she has a lot more inside of her than just being Chip's chauffeur, and the Basket family helper.

"Baskets" is a great show with a really solid cast. Louie Anderson was a surprise, Galifinakis is always good in what he does, and now Martha Kelly is fast becoming one of my favorite comic actors. She is excellent on this show. I highly recommend people check this show out so you can see great performances like Kelly's on a weekly basis. What a gem.


Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He used to chauffeur the head editor around. They have many incredible stories about it on one of our first podcasts.

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