I never thought I would utter this sentence, but here it goes: I’m prepared to announce the television equivalent of Joe Biden. #tvpolitics That’s right! The reveal of the second best series of 2015 has, at last, dawned, so get ready to have your mind blown.
And the silver medal goes to…
Television’s best kept secret (unless you know me personally, which means I have harangued you until you agreed to watch so I would go and take my crazy elsewhere), Andy Daly’s Review has perfected the serialized sketch show. He plays Forrest MacNeil, a critic doling out up to five stars for real-life experiences — suggested through viewer write-ins — rather than films or restaurants. Last year, his dedication to his show ruined his life: when asked to review divorce, for instance, he divorced his wife — then ate a triumphant thirty pancakes. But this year, we get even deeper inside Forrest’s head, and — in getting to know what makes him tick — we come to understand him as well as TV heavyweight characters like Walter White and Tony Soprano. Daly’s created one pathological dude here, and we should all be so, so thankful.
The deeper down the rabbit hole Forrest tumbles, the more darkly hilarious Review gets. In the premiere episode, Forrest and his assistant A.J. Gibbs introduce a season two wrinkle: the veto. In a moment of atypical reflection, Forrest reveals that there are some reviews even he should have the option to pass on, so when the veto gets its reveal in the premiere, we know it’s bound to pop up later in the season. To no one’s surprise, Forrest’s squandered vetoes force him to ultimately review “murder,” and we’re laughing hysterically at the depths this show and character will plumb. What makes Review such a miracle is that it is both the darkest and funniest show on television, a near-impossible balancing act pulled off flawlessly.
Along the way, Forrest reviews, to outlandish and gut-busting effect, having the perfect body, leading a cult, giving something six stars, relinquishing decision-making to a Magic 8 Ball, curing homosexuality, getting embroiled in a conspiracy theory, living as a little person, and more. All other comedies — network, cable, or otherwise — can and should take note of Review‘s massive accomplishment because, in my mind, no other sitcom is in the same league. Transforming the very nature of television comedy? Five stars.
Tomorrow’s the big one, folks: numero uno! My apologies for my bilingual diatribe, but I’m excited. Sorry I’m not sorry! See you tomorrow!