Comedy Central’s new series Review attempts…something in poking fun at user-generated review culture.
You have no idea how tempting it is to get all meta in reviewing comedian Andy Daly’s new Comedy Central series Review. However, the amount of effort required to cobble together a halfway decent satire would far outweigh the effort given by the series in question. Review leaves the viewer with a sense of “so what” for thirty minutes, with zero laughs to show for it.
The show is a pseudo-news magazine anchored by Forrest MacNeil (Daly). Why Daly feels it necessary to adopt a new character instead of an alternate persona (a la Stephen Colbert) creates an artificial separation from the start. Perhaps this is a critique of people posting under pseudonyms on Yelp or Trip Advisor, but there does not appear to be any other evidence to support the premise. Anyway, a co-host (again, why?) reads off an email/tweet/facebook post (usually accompanied by a photo or video of someone injured) asking about a life experience, such as stealing or trying cocaine.
Forrest takes on the challenge of the question presented, which provides the bulk of the extended sketch. There are two elements at play here, either of which fall into the “not for everybody” category. First, Daly’s approach to his character is a more bombastic version of John Hodgman, a smartest-person-in-the-room elitism that is fine in very small doses, but would be unbearable in a thirty-minute format. The other category is the more screaming = more funny philosophy, which I can’t get behind. As a result, the three sketches that compose an episode take a simple premise and rockets to the height of absurdity without any sort of build.
Is Review unwatchable? No, of course not. I didn’t find myself enraged by the end of the half hour, only bored. Well, except when Fred Willard (who plays MacNeil’s father-in-law) starts dropping some rhymes. If you enjoy Hodgman’s style or you are okay diving headfirst into absurdity, you will enjoy Review much more than I did.
For me, I give Review 1 star. For people who are not me, I give Review 2-1/2 stars.