03rd Nov2020

‘The Cabin with Bert Kreischer’ Review (Netflix)

by Rhys Payne

The first thing you will notice about the new Netflix original series The Cabin is that it is hosted by Bert Kreischer the stand-up comedian. The majority of people will know Bert for his famous routine about becoming an honorary member of the Russian mafia and shouting “I am the Machine!” as it was the only phrase Russian phrase he knew.

Now honestly I don’t enjoy his form of comedy but this show gives an alternative perspective on who he is as a person… The Cabin opens with Bert talking about his innermost feelings and how high stress the comedy circuit is which is not something that gets talked about a lot but is very important. It’s great to see – specifically a man – talking about his mental health struggles and dealing with fatigue which is essentially the fundamental premise of the show. Bert is supposed to be taking time out from his very busy schedule to relax in a secluded cabin in an attempt to de-stress and has invited the audience, and few special guests, to join him on his healing journey – which is a helpful coping mechanism for many people which can only help. The opening episode initiates a very important discussion about the stress people often put on themselves about chasing their dreams. It talks about the desire people possess to live life to its fullest, which is a movement that has become popular in current times, but also the importance of not wearing yourself and sometimes rest is what we need to recover most reflectively. Bert receptively repeats the mantra of thinking about your mind, body and soul which can only help viewers who are going through difficult times.

I always think of Bert as a stand-up comedian but this show reveals a softer, more vulnerable sides of him (at certain times) rather than this over-the-top character he often presents. With that in mind, however, the show is very much also on-brand for Burt as a person. The show contains constant strong language and drug use while also relying on physical, immature skits. One of the first scenes the audience see in the show is one in which presents a dead animal ready to be butcher for food. This is distressing for most viewers and maybe particularly jarring to certain people. However, the episodes are only 30 minutes long, which moves even quicker within the episode. This means that the unsettling scenes are only short and not prolonged so they can be easily skipped.

As I stated previously Burt has invited a selection of guests to join him the cabin to share his progress. My personal favourite guest by far was Caitlyn Jenner. I know very little about the Kardashians and even less about Caitlin specifically but in this show she was incredible. She was brought on as the episode was all about fitness (as Bruce, Caitlyn was an Olympic decathlon athlete) which make sense and lead to a very emotional scene in which Burt’s dad informs Caitlyn about how much of an inspiration she is to people. This caused Burt to get very emotional as it’s not the language he has ever heard from his dad before. It was very unusual and unexpected to see such a raw and emotional scene from Burt, due to his usual comedy acts, but it really humanised him and actually may have caused me to shed a tear or two. Caitlyn also made an important point to talk about the difference gender identity and sexual orientation which again would benefit not only any LGBT+ viewers but also those people who are struggling with issues of acceptance and understanding.

In the same episode, they invite Fortune Feimster who further talked about acceptance and LGBT+ lives. This episode, in particular, was my favourite in the whole series due to the emotional backing and important topics discussed. Despite all this, I did not enjoy the constant motivation messages the appeared on the screen throughout every episode. In my opinion, these happened way too much and were a very simplistic way to aid the transitions between scenes. At times the structure of the episode was very distracting as it went from current time, to later in the evening where they are talking about what happened in the day and then flashbacked to those events. The change in time frames at times did become frustrating to watch and difficult to follow.

Overall, The Cabin discusses some very important issues such as mental health, LGBT+ acceptance and personal development. There are numerous emotional scenes but also many skits that were somewhat comical and the variance made for a very interesting watch. The show built on Bert Kreischer image that he has developed through the years but also revealed a more relatable and personal side to his persona which is great.

**** 4/5

The Cabin is available to watch on Netflix now.

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