I’m an amateur reviewer. There is no doubt about that. The emphasis is on the word “amateur,” but I am not alone in my endeavor to review anything and everything that I see or experience. The new Comedy Central series Review stars Andy Daly as Forrest MacNeil, a man who reviews life experiences, rather than pieces of media. I use the word “new” relatively, as Review has been airing since the beginning of March. I have been avoiding it though, concerned that our respective purviews may be a little too similar. Turns out that there’s no need to worry, because Review is way better than I will ever be.
The first episode features Forrest reviewing three experiences: stealing, which culminates in a botched bank robbery; addiction, specifically to cocaine; and prom, an event to which the fully grown Forrest has particular difficulty gaining access. Each segment is introduced by Forrest’s co-host, A.J. (Megan Stevenson), and while they often start in a normal place, they quickly devolve into riotous hilarity. The supporting cast also includes Jessica St. Clair as Suzanne, Forrest’s wife, and Fred Willard as Jack, Suzanne’s father.
But honestly, the whole thing rests on Daly’s shoulders, and he is more than capable of handling it. Daly has been quietly killing it in the Los Angeles comedy scene for years; if you haven’t listened to his many appearances on Comedy Bang Bang, you need to go download all of them immediately. He is a master at creating characters, which made the choice to freeze him in place as Forrest MacNeil seem like an odd one. Seemingly he is much better suited for something Key & Peele-ish, but there is a lot more to Forrest than meets the eye. There is a silliness and a darkness to Mr. MacNeil that is not evident upon first glancing at the bespectacled man in the khaki blazer.
It’s this darkness that leads to moments like Forrest matter-of-factly declaring that his intern (Michael Croner) will die after the bank robbery breaks bad, or gleefully chanting “peer pressure” in an attempt to get his child’s babysitter to do cocaine. I could write a whole review just listing funny moments from the pilot (“cigarettes filled tobacco and alcoholic wine”), but that wouldn’t do the show justice. You just have to check it out yourself. I’ll leave the real reviews to the experts.