Peacock’s new comedy series Bust Down is the new irreverent comedy that is a kind of show that many have not seen before.
The gritty series chronicles the lives and relationships between four friends working at the Diamondback Casino in Indiana as they navigate obstacles and opportunities in and out of the workplace. In the show, they deal with bosses who violate boundaries, domestic disputes and generally, just being stuck in a place in life where the rainbow at the end of the tunnel doesn’t appear as close.
The series follows Jak, Sam, Chris and Langston as they live dead-end lives working dead-end jobs in Middle America. Unlike in most comedies, there’s not always a happy ending.
Shadow and Act spoke with the four cast members and creators of the show – Langston Kerman, Sam Jay, Chris Redd, and Jak Knight – about how timely the show is. More than anything, it fills a void of the Black experience that hasn’t been previously shown.
The show was created based on the personalities of the foursome
Emmy-nominated Jay is known for writing skills and contributions to shows like SNL. Until Bust Down, telling personal stories of similar experiences hasn’t been possible on this scale. Working with three friends on the series made it even better.
“When we were making these characters, we were just thinking about exaggerated versions of the things we hate about each other, quite honestly,” Jay explained. “And that’s pretty much what we built each character around. And I think you get that level of insight when you are actually friends with the people you work with.”
The cast agree they learned about their flaws working on the show
All four cast members jokingly agree that the show highlights the worst of them. With that in mind, they told S&A that seeing themselves from the perspective of their closest friends and having that mirror was difficult at times.
“I learned that everybody thought I was a sociopath and they were right. And I’ve done a lot of self-reflection and I’m not going to change much,” Redd jokes. “But it is great just great to feel free to create with your friends and then create these flawed characters that get to have these wild ass opinions.”
For Kerman, learning that he was viewed as the annoyingly sensitive one out of the bunch wasn’t easy. He jokes that it made him even more emotional.
Wanting to showcase Black characters in a silly way is important to the cast
Though it is a satirical comedy unlike anything ever seen before, real issues are explored in each episode. Unlike other shows, the characters don’t get it right most of the time. And showing stories from this lens is something the entire cast agreed to do.
“Any chance Black people get to see ourselves as silly and problematic and complicated is great,” Kerman said. Going from one show highlighting the Black experience on Insecure to helping create Bust Down made him see how much shows like this are needed. “We saw it on Insecure where people are dealing in relationships and sort of the complexities of this or on our show being able to see the silliness of kicking each other in the d**k. I think all of it is important. It’s great.”
The different perspectives each character brings is what Knight is excited for audiences to see. “There’s four different points of views going on these crazy ass subjects,” he said. “They’ll be super duper tight that we get to have characters like Sam being a woman misogynist or me being covered in man juice.”
Bust Down premieres on Peacock on Mar. 10.
Watch the full interview with the cast below: