Netflix in July 2020 offered some more anarchic humor with a well-known TV show and a showbiz movie of a different kind.
Rick and Morty (Season 4, Episodes 1-5) [7/10]
Rick and Morty was a surprise hit and I found it highly original and entertaining (as can be seen in the Netflix watchlist: April to May 2017, Netflix watchlist: February 2018 and Netflix watchlist: April 2019 articles). The reason was that the set-up was highly reminiscent of Back to the Future (one of my favorite movie trilogies I still have to review) and that one couldn’t guess what happened next, especially with its improv acting. While there are definitely some highlights in the fourth season, the distribution policy of Netflix kind of takes away the enjoyment a bit. As was the case before, the most interesting overarching plot twists came much later, and it’s the case here, too. If it weren’t for some snakes-take-over-the-world or Marty-goes-berserk craziness episodes, one wouldn’t feel the need to continue and wait for the next 5 episodes. Hopefully these will arrive soon enough, because there’s still a lot to like about the show.
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga [8/10]
Will Ferrell is an acquired taste, as one either loves his emotional outbursts and deadpan expression and has a penchant for low humor, or one simply can’t stand him. Even though there are exceptions, like Stranger Than Fiction, there’s not much middle ground. So watching Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga one knows exactly what one goes in for: very weird, often sexually-connotated, scenes, even weirder characters, and accents that are so weird that they’re real. Still, behind all the nonsense scenes and a lot of quite catchy songs, complete with improv dancing and exaggerated videos, the movie can win over people because of its emotional portrayal of two people overcoming the odds and singing because they love music. Part critical commentary on the business side of the song contest, part grotesque comedy, it has its touching moments, especially the ending. While it’s a bit long with its 2-hours runtime, it comes highly recommended, even for those who might not expect much from a Will Ferrell comedy.
I’ve already said it before with how Netflix (or rather the original developers of the show) handled the second season of Paradise PD by leaving out the finale (see Netflix watchlist: June 2020), and I’ll say it again with Rick and Morty: This is not how to build hype, but to annoy the audience. Thankfully this delivering-in-small-packages idea hasn’t reached the original Netflix movies yet, and hopefully it will take some time before it does…