The sci-fi and fantasy genres lend themselves well to being blended with comedy, balancing out the darker storylines those genres often offer. A new blend of the two is coming our way…
The drama and heart-wrenching despair often inflicted on audiences by shows like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead can benefit from comedic moments. A well-written blend of comedy and fantasy or comedy and science fiction is the entertainment equivalent of peanut butter and chocolate (or, for some, whiskey and pickle juice, because monsters are real).
The mere idea of Matt Groening, who is to thank in part for Futurama and the never-ending story that is The Simpsons, being responsible for a comedic fantasy epic made for Netflix sounds promising. At least it does in theory.
The Netflix series title is Disenchantment. The premise follows -courtesy of Variety– a princess with a drinking problem (played by Abbi Jacobson), an elf (played by Nat Faxon), and Eric Andre as a demonic something-or-other and their undoubtedly wacky, boozed-up, profane-but-sometimes-witty adventures.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail is the unachievable dream every stab at this genre seems to be going for…
Something about that all just stinks of mediocrity and tired attempts at making medieval fantasy silly, slapstick, and more than plague sores and revolutions. Monty Python and the Holy Grail is the unachievable dream every stab at this genre seems to be going for. Very few reach such lofty heights.
Groening’s works are often hit-or-miss and as funny as they can be, they also often descend into fart-jokes-level humour. Keep in mind: there’s nothing wrong with some well-timed flatulence humour, but it shouldn’t be a pillar upon which any media balances itself upon.
John DiMaggio will undoubtedly make at least some contributions to the show, in which he’ll probably play a dragon or an orc or something else easily made into a character fond of alcohol, promiscuity, and belching fire. Make no mistake: DiMaggio is a talented, versatile voice actor, and he will undoubtedly be used to craft a fantasy character with remarkable similarities to Bender.
The prediction: This show will run at least one season too long, recycle many of its best jokes to the point they’ll be reduced to background noise with no audience response achieved, and a small group of die-hard fans will go positively insane when it’s suddenly cancelled—prompting one or two revival seasons.
It would be great if this prediction was wrong.
New programming of this nature, if handled well, could help act as a springboard to more of its kind, which will help offset the glut of doom-and-gloom programming everywhere, ranging from the dour tones of Game of Thrones to the post-apocalyptic despair of The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead.
Alternatively, if this isn’t handled well, please let its end be swift and merciful so that it can quietly fade from reviewer’s minds, leaving space for shows of a similar nature with greater potential.
By Phil Gorski
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