Well folks, it's mea culpa time again. I missed one of, if not the best, television shows this year in "Review." Thanks to Amazon Prime I've been able to catch up, at the behest of my (wise) co-worker and fellow TV aficionado Andy Downing. Hat tip, sir.
Well folks, it’s mea culpa time again. I missed one of, if not the best, television shows this year in “Review.” Thanks to Amazon Prime I’ve been able to catch up, at the behest of my (wise) co-worker and fellow TV aficionado Andy Downing. Hat tip, sir.
So here’s the basis of “Review,” which alone is ab-so-lutely brilliant. Forrest MacNeil (Andy Daly) is a reviewer — of life. Not books, movies or food (which is made apparent in the opening credits, as those make Forrest sleepy).
So Forrest sets out on “reviewing” any life experience his audience can come up with for his quirky news magazine TV show. Anything. (And for the record, Forrest’s co-host, A.J. Gibbs (Megan Stevenson), is one of my favorite supporting characters on TV.)
Addiction? Divorce? Space? Pancakes? Done.
While “Review” starts out as a simple joke about the ridiculous and unnecessary infatuation with hearing someone else’s opinion — which it refuses to let go as a thematic subtext throughout — it then builds into one of the most intriguing narratives I’ve seen in quite awhile. And it is absolutely hilarious, if you’re not squeamish.
“Review” is a black comedy. No doubt about it. But the willingness of Forrest to do whatever it takes — PANCAKES! — to complete the standard he has set for his show, and for what his audience asks of him, is astounding.
Yes, “Review” is a comedy, a joke drawn-out over the course of multiple episodes, but that is the most brilliant point.
I am lucky enough to be someone who gets to review things, like “Review,” for a living, but I completely understand that it’s an enterprise built of drive. “Review” turns that drivel into mind-boggling hilarity and poignancy.
It not only questions the point of reviews, but also makes them worthy at the same time. How would you review the most difficult thing you’ve ever had to do in your life? Forrest MacNeil gave it five stars (out of five). And then he kept reviewing.
Photo courtesy of Comedy Central