Also, Sepinwall says:
Has show's funniest moment since Fred Willard went into space.
I love this show so much
It is such a good gun, in the Chekhov sense.
I can't wait to see what ultimately prompts Forrest to use one of his vetoes. It's either going to be something utterly benign for weirdly trivial reason, or something horrific, at which point the replacement review will be even worse.
1. forrest never uses it despite some truly awful things happening
2. forrest uses it on something he personally really doesn't like, but most people would be okay with
3. forrest uses it on something that sounds dangerous, which results in a replacement review being something that doesn't sound dangerous, but winds up being what the first review would have been anyway
RIP Mrs. Greenfield
this is going to be amazing
- Sean Collins for The Observer: The Walter White of Comedy: James Urbaniak on Review and Rise of Funny Antiheroes
More via the link.
At first glance, Review appears to be comedy in which someone makes a major production of doing basic things in a very stiff, social-anthropology, insider-playing-at-outsider way Sasha Baron Cohen in khakis. This is indeed the basic approach. But the shows genius is that instead of treating each review as a separate, self-contained event, mined for jokes then never referred to again, theres continuity between all of them. The magical comedy reset button youd expect them to hit after Forrest, say, gets addicted to cocaine, overdoses, and goes to rehab, never gets hit. The experiences build one on top of another.
Thats the angle that stands out to actor James Urbaniak, who plays Forrests amoral producer/enabler Grant. Theres an element of it being a satire of reality TV, he says. In reality TV, you make decisions that have an emotional effect on people but are restricted by the parameters of the game or the competition. [Review] is breaking down those parameters, so hes making very big decisions, like getting divorced, that affect his whole life.
Affect is an understatement. Even though the only time he acknowledges it before the first season finale is in one brief fit of self-pity while eating an enormous stack of pancakes (dont ask), Review shows Forrest slowly but surely destroying his life and the lives of everyone around him. His marriage ends. Multiple people get killed. All under the rubric of this preposterous high-concept mockumentary show.
In other words, Review is a satire not just of reality shows, but of New Golden Age of Television antihero dramas, hiding in plain sight. It takes the basic man ruins all he cares about in the name of something that makes him nominally freer and more powerful structure of the genre and plays it for deliberate laughs. Instead of a meth empire or a mafia family or a double life, he commits his bad acts in the name of the television show that chronicles them. Hes Walter White, but without the sense that theres anything tragic about him hes just an oblivious faux-smart buffoon. Its a satire of the middle-class middle-aged white-male entitlement and privilege that all the big dramas treat as the stuff of life.
Like most things Review, I was laughing all the way through that, it was great, thanks. Also, this is why it is among the very best things on TV:
I don't think this was posted a few weeks ago:
- Sean Collins for The Observer: The Walter White of Comedy: James Urbaniak on Review and Rise of Funny AntiheroesMore via the link.
It's a beautiful counter to the many other comedies I enjoy.
Forrest doesn't teach us shit. No hearts are warmed, no lessons learned, no sins redeemed, no tragic arcs completed.
But, honestly, I do find the show tragic. And what may speak to me most directly is Review s dank take on my own profession, criticism itself. Week after week, Review delights in poking at a specific brand of professional privilege: the notion that anyone can be an objective judge of anything. Forrest keeps wrestling with massive, destabilizing topicslike sex or ragebut, in the end, he finds himself struggling to reduce them into a single, manageable number, like so many bouillon cubes. Hes stuck in a Hell of Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down choices and March Madness brackets. Hes also happens be living my worst nightmare, the one that comes around every December, when the Top Ten Lists descend like hissing snakes.
And yet he cant stop: Forrest may be egged on by his sinister producer, played by James Urbaniak (in a devilish relationship that has a faint Bedazzled quality to it), but hes also motivated by a self-destructive impulse to judge everything he sees, cloaked as professionalism. In fact, Forrest actually quit Review at the end of the first seasonbut in the second season, hes back, with a supposed loophole: he is allowed to veto two reviews. He cant seem to use this power. Challenged to start a bare-knuckle brawl, Forrest picks a fight with a guy at an A.T.M. Instead of raising his fists, the guy pulls out a gun and shoots Forrest in the gut. Forrest spends weeks in a coma. He goes through gruelling months of rehabilitation, helped along by a devoted nurse, played by Allison Tolman. The two fall in love. Youd think this would be a happy ending, except that Forrests next assignment is What does it feel like to blackmail someone?and he cant help himself. He blackmails his girlfriend.
You can at least watch the first episode for free on Comedy Central's website; none of that "sign in with your cable provider" bullshit required.
Season 2 not being on Hulu is killing me. I check everyday to see if the first episode has been aded.
Gonna have to rethink my CC watching strategy, especially with Nathan For You season 3 starting soon.
But yeah, I'm surprised that this season isn't on Hulu. I just bought the season through Amazon, fuck it.
Season 1 trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5zt_vJtWu0
I think I prefer the faster pace of the US version, but the first episode of this is still pretty good. :)
The preview for next week looks suitably tragic/hilarious.