Review and Review, Reviewed
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- 2 min
One of the better television comedy programs in recent memory is Review.
Review is a program within a television program. Featuring Andy Daly as “life critic” Forrest McNeil, each episode consists of three reviews on some aspect of life, as requested by a viewer of the fictional television program via email, video message, or Twitter.
An episode from the first season that had me in stitches was “Pancakes, Divorce, Pancakes.”
In this episode, he submits to a viewer’s request to learn what it is like to eat fifteen pancakes as that’s the minimum yield according to the printed recipe on the pancake-mix box. Although he didn’t regard finishing fifteen pancakes very highly, he later celebrates eating thirty pancakes, as a subsequent viewer requests for the third review. He changes his opinion about eating twices as many pancakes only after sinking to an emotional low following his divorce, which he only undertook after a viewer asked what it would be like to get a divorce.
Having revisited the series recently, I learned that the Andy Daly series is based on an Australian television series from 2008–2010, also called Review with Myles Barlow. There a lot of similarities between the two. For example, in the two versions, each reviewer divorces his wife for the sake of a review, and consequently, each is emotionally crippled in subsequent episodes.
The Australian version, however, has a much darker sensibility. For example, in the first episode of the Aussie series, he reviews what it is like to murder someone.
And, in this episode, he also tests out divorce to learn that it is worth only one star.
The entire run of the Australian series and the first season of the American series are available on Hulu. (The preceding link is a referral link that will earn me some Hulu credit if you subscribe.)