In critiquing life experiences, Comedy Central's new sitcom tries to find humor in suffering
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By Jessica Johnson|
Premieres Thursday, March 6 at 9pm on Comedy Central.
Comedy always has a close relationship with pain, from the pratfalls of The Three Stooges to the uncomfortable antics of David Brent. With its new series, Comedy Central attempts to find the humor in a man's systematic self destruction.
Forrest MacNeil (Andy Daly) hosts a reality show within the sitcom that is also called "Review." On this show he and his co-host A.J. Gibbs (Megan Stevenson) field questions and requests from viewers searching for insight on various life experiences. Forrest hears these petitions and sets about into the world to engage in these exploits and offer an educated critique. From hunting to stealing to eating 15 pancakes in one sitting, Forrest puts himself at the mercy of his viewers regardless of the impact his actions will have on his own health and happiness.
Despite its wacky premise, Review plays things totally straight, which works well, up to a point. Daly's Forrest approaches his assignments with a wide-eyed innocence that's hard not to find endearing. As the show progresses, however, it becomes difficult to watch the man continuously wreak havoc on himself. His commitment to the show's mission is so absolute that it causes irreparable damage to the rest of his life.
While Daly is a funny man and Review can be amusing, there's a perversity to watching Forrest run a buzzsaw through his life that's a bit too unsettling.