Monday, May 17, 2004
Having heard that Mr. Show was hilarious and ground-breaking, I rented the first season. Maybe other seasons are different but I can't see exactly what's so unusual that wasn't first done by Monty Python (at least to us Yanks since I've never been able to see any of the other shows that led up to Python). Breaking character, linked skits, revisions in process, etc can all be seen in Python. The one difference of course is that Mr. Show is American so there's pretty much no references outside pop culture. Can you imagine any show here doing a "Summarize Proust" skit? On the other hand, when Mr. Show has Lincoln explain the meaning of the stars in the flag I'm guessing that only a small part of the audience gets the joke (an urban legend that you probably have to be a male between 40 and 70 to have ever heard). But innovation, who really cares? Mr. Show does have some pretty amusing stuff--I particularly like the discovery of the 13th apostle who was a motivational speaker/huckster--but as far as laughs and genuine satire it doesn't match, say, The Simpsons and South Park.