Everything is up for review when an obsessive (and calamity-prone) critic decides to rate life experiences instead of movies or restaurants. Road Rage? Half Star. Making a Sex Tape? 4 Stars. Watching this raucously original new series? 5 Stars!
A darkly brilliant satire, Review is a show within a show starring reviewer Forrest MacNeil (Andy Daly), a reviewer who reviews not books or movies but "life itself." As Forrest says at the beginning of each episode: "Life, it's all we have. But is it any good?"
Forrest's reviews are responses to "viewer" questions asking him things like, What is it like to run from the law? Is drug addiction really that terrible? How do people get through divorce? to go into space? to quit your job?). And with seemingly no understanding that each of these experiences can be different for every person, Forrest will go to any lengths to do the thing he is asked to review and report back. He somehow believes that in doing such reviews he is performing a public service despite the mess he creates with his own life. He has asked his producer never to let him off the hook no matter how dire the situation. And it is his willingness to do absolutely ANYTHING, however gross, risky or self destructive that makes "Review" the masterpiece it is. Echoes of Kafka, Ionesco and Oscar Wilde reverberate throughout "Review", it's theater of the absurd. And it is that utter absurdity that makes addiction, death and other horrors hilarious rather than tragic. Unlike the naive and misguided Forrest, Andy Daly is in on every aspect of the joke of course. He is one of the most brilliant, and unique comic voices out there. He knows it is Forrest's (slowly decaying) naïvete and misguided dedication to the most extreme tasks thay make the show work, though his innocence is slowly wearing away. Splitsider recently compared Forrest to a comedic Walter White and it's a perfect comparison. He starts out with the best of intentions just like Walter White and just like Walter White he comes to enjoy, even relish, the depths to which his pursuit takes him. The show can also be seen as a mockumentary of all reality shows, especially things involving life decisions like The Bachelor or Survivor. If you think you want to see it, see it. It's a rare gem in an endless sea of mediocrity.
This show is brilliant. The star is the post-modern Harold Lloyd (and if you don't know who Harold Lloyd is, you need to watch Safety First and the Freshman, silent comedies that can compete with the best of Charlie Chaplin--and if you don't know who Charlie Chaplin is, I'll pray for you!). It is a wry parody (of investigative tv reporting), as well as an hilarious feat of comedy. I'd never heard of it before (and it is in its second season), but happened upon a glowing review of the show by Emily Nussbaum of The New Yorker, who called it 'disturbingly funny'. The only thing that was disturbed for me watching it were my sides, which were aching with laughter.
This show is genius. Andy Daly finally has a show built around him that's as brilliant as he is. REVIEW is able to pull off a very tricky narrative feat, and it doesn't sacrifice any comedy in the process. This show doesn't cheat in that Daly's character, Forrest McNeil, has "produced" the show you're watching, so everything you see his character has chosen (or allowed) you to see. So, you can't get these behind-the-scenes moments catching him unawares, yet you see his life in total decline just through the events he presents to you in the form of his career as a critic. It's an amazing high-wire act that pays off every episode. It's great on its own, but the 3rd episode "Pancakes, Divorce, Pancakes" is an amazing achievement of television entertainment. It ranks as one of the ten best television episodes I've ever seen in my life. But that said: Don't skip ahead - this show thrives on its cumulative experience.
I wasn't sure what to expect going in to it but as soon as the first episode ended I was hooked to see the rest of the season. The whole show is well done following life critic Forrest MacNeil around as he carries out life challenges which people write/vlog into the show to ask what it is like to experience.
Weirdly, his wife doesn't seem to know what he does for a job or if she does she doesn't acknowledge it. That was the only real confusing matter but maybe it is cleared up later in the season, back to watching more.
Review on Comedy Central, starring Andy Daly, is a week by week tour-de-force of hilarity. This show ranks among the best like Wonder Showzen and Mr. Show in being comedy at its pinnacle. The show also has a running memory and builds from prior episodes. A bit like Brass Eye on the BBC in being newslike (reality-like), while managing to poke fun at reality and also allow us to see the humor in even some of the darkest of moments.
I thought it was funny. I debated on four or five stars, but set it to five because there are too many people out there who just don't seem to get it. This isn't cringe humor. Think Leslie Nielsen with a fraction less slapstick and a tad of emotion, and you have the review. Screwball humor that is pretty entertaining.
Really enjoyed the show. It is the sort of ridiculous humor that I find very entertaining. Definitely not a show for everyone though. The show reminds me of Nathan For You, another Comedy Central show. If you liked that show or any Tim and Eric shows you will probably like this one too, as it was made by the same production company.