Thursday, March 16, 2017

REVIEW: 'Review' - Forrest Returns to the Show While Also Standing Trial for Murder in 'Locorito / Pet Euthanasia / Dream'

Comedy Central's Review - Episode 3.01 "Locorito / Pet Euthanasia / Dream"

After surviving last season's big fall, Forrest gets back to work by reviewing a Mexican restaurant's new product, the experience of putting a pet to sleep and what it's like to live his dream.

Review is one of the darkest and most unsettling shows out there. It's also outrageously hilarious. It's absolutely horrifying that Forrest MacNeil is back for yet another season of reviews. He returns with a spring in his step having completely forgotten about how frequently this show destroys his life. He's completely to blame for all of that as well. He just has no awareness for how any situation could be perceived to others. In fact, it's pretty miraculous that Forrest still has a show to return to. Both he and Grant somehow survived the fall off the bridge from the end of last season. And now, they seem closer than ever before. Of course, Forrest would say that because he sees them as friends who survived being stranded in the wilderness together. Grant is still the mischievous producer who is constantly manipulating Forrest into action. But on top of all of that, last season pushed Forrest to some really dark places. He had to make the agonizing decision over whether he could or could not review killing someone. And now, he is paying for all of that. The consequences of this show are still apparent throughout his life. It's still all-consuming for him. It will only continue to get worse too given everything that the show sets up in this premiere episode.

It was inevitable last season that Forrest only getting a certain amount of vetoes would ultimately come back to hurt him. It did so in spectacular fashion too. So, it seems about right that the legal team on the show would advise Forrest to have an unlimited amount of vetoes. The damage has already been done by the producers not thinking that far ahead. This fix may work out in the future but it can't undo all of the horrifying things Forrest has done in the name of the show. But it's even more outrageous that Forrest comes back promising to never use a veto again. He sees that as the issue he had in his reviews last season. That's absolutely idiotic. But it also allows him to continue to get sucked into these reviews and have them consume his life in some dark and unsettling ways. No subject matter is easy. Yes, some are more fun than others. But the damage is already present. Forrest may be blissfully unaware of the consequences of his actions but the rest of the world has a long memory. Nothing is as simple as it was when not many people knew he was only doing outrageous things for the good of the show. Suzanne remembers everything and knows better than to even let Forrest into her house at all. It's still abundantly clear that he wants her back but that's going to be more difficult than ever before when she's always wondering if he's only doing something for a review. She's learned her lesson and is done with him.

The first act of this premiere also sets up that Forrest is on trial for murder. That's a phenomenal reveal. It shows that there really is consequences to his actions from last season. He's still doing the show too which will have a major influence on this trial. His personality changes on a day-to-day basis depending on whatever he is reviewing. So, that will paint him as an incredibly erratic man. It's a great premise for this season. It should give the show a strong arc that will be fascinating to see play out. It already has such a memorable beginning. That first review is great. It first seems like a product placement bit for the show-within-the-show to offer some strong product integration. But it too is a horrifying story about Forrest eating a six-month old burrito. No sane person would eat something that old. And yet, Forrest commits to the review. He searches for this burrito and eats all of it for dinner. The repercussions are swift and fierce. He's in the bathroom all night with his digestive system revolting against him. But the story takes things up a notch with the reveal of the murder trial. This isn't a great time for him to be anywhere public. So, it's great to see him immediately cast himself as a horrible and irresponsible person who pukes on potential jury members.

But Forrest's second review of the season is absolutely devastating. It's amusing to see A.J. Gibbs trying to find ways around Forrest having to do something very cruel or horrifying. He is asked what it's like to put a pet to sleep. She suggests singing to a cat until it falls asleep. That would technically meet the requirements of this review. But he's against that. He doesn't always know what certain phrases actually mean. There is so much of this world that Forrest is completely oblivious to - as this review ultimately shows. But this is an idiom that he understands. He knows he has to get a pet and kill it. It's great that he's not welcomed back into Suzanne's home to kill the dog he got for his son earlier in the series. That dog doesn't deserve that kind of treatment. So, it's just amusing to see Forrest troll around a vet's office and become the owner of a bearded dragon. It's even better once he actually bonds with the creature. He got it for the sole purpose of killing it. But it's great to see him get so attached that he ultimately can't do it. He has to get another pet to kill. It's all building to the punchline of Forrest putting the two bearded dragons in the same cage and one eating the other. It's a phenomenal reveal that is absolutely devastating. It's heartbreaking to Forrest while also being hilarious to watch. It makes his decision to kill the other pet that much simpler too.

That's a great moment that shows just how personal Forrest takes these reviews. And yet, he is completely clueless when it comes to the final review of the premiere. He's asked what it's like to make his dream come true. The person asking the question meant it as an uplifting suggestion. Something that wouldn't ultimately have dire consequences for Forrest or the people around him. However, he takes it very literally. He doesn't understand the expression when he's first asked it and instead sets out to act out one of his dreams in real life. That's completely absurd while still being something he would do. It also just highlights how much he still loves Suzanne. She gets into his head and corrupts his dreams for almost a month. She won't play along with any review of his anyone. That's smart. So, he just has to wait until he has a dream where her role is small. The final product is weird and lackluster. It's just building to that visual of Forrest being naked in front of Suzanne's house right after she rejects him yet again. He has no shame in that moment while Suzanne is horrified and confused by the people who are actually helping him with this show. The show largely messes up Forrest's life but the other people employed there are complicit to some extent as well.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Locorito / Pet Euthanasia / Dream" was written by Andy Blitz and directed by Jeffrey Blitz.
  • Forrest's reviews this week are: Eating a locorito - one star, putting a pet to sleep - three stars, and making your dream come true - four stars. 
  • It's going to be so hard for Forrest's lawyer to prove that he killed that guy last season out of self-defense. For one, the evidence probably won't support that at all. But more importantly, she's not that great as a lawyer. She doesn't give Forrest more forewarning about jury selection because she has become obsessed with golf - which is such a great detail.
  • Of course, it's going to be absolutely hilarious to see the whole show get put on trial. Perhaps that will be the thing that gets Forrest to see how horrifying his life has become because of it. But will it actually change the outcome of the trial at all?
  • It's wonderful that Forrest doesn't know how to pronounce Beyonc√©. Of course, there's no accent on the e either. So it's not that surprising considering Forrest doesn't really know pop culture at all. But it's great for a quick laugh.
  • Of course, Forrest's ignorance is also on display with his handing of Beyonce and Deyonce. His interns know that the two beasts can't be in the same cage. The story did seem like it was heading to a dark moment. But that moment was just incredibly well-executed.
  • Grant and Forrest had to survive stranded in the woods for a little bit after their fall as well. Grant is in a wheelchair now. He has an at home nurse helping him with everything. Plus, he has a great house. He's a wealthy producer still manipulating his talent. Forrest doesn't even get one of the guest rooms. He's sleeping on a cot in the garage.