More is just more in this Peacock series

Ryan Phillippe, Will Forte and Kristen Wiig in McGruber

Ryan Phillippe, Will Forte, and Kristen Wiig McGruber
Photo: John Golden Brit / Peacock

Central joke McGruber, in any of its various forms, it has always been that it originally existed. When the character first appeared Saturday Night LiveThe fact that anyone was doing a verbal parody MacGyver In 2007 (original idea: the kind of MacGyver who insists his friends hand him hyper-irritating things to help defuse bombs and get him out of “difficult situations”) he made the idea more confusing and somewhat more appealing.

When MacGruber became one of Will Forte’s signature recurring pieces SNLIt was especially funny to see each drawing end with a series of seemingly deadly explosions. And when this drawing was adapted into a movie in 2010Half the thrill came from watching Forte’s long commitment to the piece, even (or especially) if it alienated mainstream audiences. MacGruber is now back with a limited series, and the unwillingness to complicate continues: Peacock’s McGruber He follows a film infamous at the box office, and does so with more than ever before with this defiantly unwanted character — its eight episodes add up to over three hours. In other words, there was suddenly an approximate 120% increase in the amount of MacGruber in the world.

That’s exciting for fans of the entire Forte Deal – in general, a parody of American masculinity, revealing the need to catch under a lot of festive bravado full of clichés. It’s a natural, and often laughable, progression of Forte’s work SNL His predecessor Will Ferrell and McGruber became Forte’s way to explore the massive insecurities that fuel our action movie legends. Serial version of McGruber It gives Forte, along with co-authors Jorma Taccone and John Solomon, plenty of time to expand on the first movie’s mysterious Rambo simulation.

Perhaps, it hurts that Forte’s assistant, so little time, admits. Functionally, the show is a three-hour-long sequel to the movie, and a decade later, given that Forte, Taccone, and Solomon have been discussing a sequel for a long time, it’s very likely that this material has been overextended from a fictional idea. The first episode in particular looks like a lengthy appendix to the film, drawing the audience’s attention to how 2010’s ending McGruber Undo—a shady complementary tactic that plays well here, given how much Mac has a tendency to blow up his life, both literally and figuratively. So, we learned that McGruber’s hilarious exaggeration against his opponent on the big screen became the basis for his murder conviction, and that he’s spent most of the past decade in the slam dunk — but not before trying to install a rap on both his partner, Dixon Piper (Ryan Phillips), and his girlfriend. / His / His ex-wife, Vicki St. Elmo (Kristen Wiig).

So when the government comes in order to send MacGruber on a new mission, he once again needs to beat Dixon strait and grieving Vicki in order to stop a madman with a terrible weapon and a ridiculous name; Enos Queeth (Billy Zane) co-stars in Dieter Von Cunth (Val Kilmer), with superstar Barrett Fasoose (Laurence Fishburne) replacing the Powers Boothe character from the movie. That’s all right. MacGruber’s character is built on repetition, with blasts of video clips and rapid changes to the lead song serving as punctuation for 90-second clips that never go beyond their welcome (or, at least, consciously exceed their welcome, drawing out an urgent 10-second countdown). Live by MacGruber). It’s only fair that the extended version revives some items as well.

Photo of the article titled The MacGruber Revival of Peacock is the wrong kind of exaggeration

Photo: John Golden Brit / Peacock

But these elements don’t mix well over the course of a series – even with the ones that laugh a lot. The film handled its transition from graphic to screen by tweaking the character’s rhythms, emulating the action movie’s appeal between absurd peaks where MacGruber (and Forte) would spectacularly derail. Likely to keep itself from burning, the show has fewer such peaks, especially early on. The ratio of Forte’s sheer roar to the mockery that Forte engages in an overly panicked first preference, and the sheer number of times MacGruber shoots someone either a condescending “bud” or an angry variance on a “piece of shit” is getting increasingly grueling.

The first episode, in fact, was largely stolen by Wiig and Philip; It’s arguably bigger assets throughout the show than it was in the movie. Wig, whose foolish husband Vicki abandoned her and is now married to Vasuz, has a surprise playing a quieter, more daring form of Forte. Its inefficiency is almost equal to that of MacGruber, and it also complements it; It makes a quirky relationship on paper to something oddly compelling, even oddly poignant. Vicki’s devotion also inspires hilariously disbelieving reactions of disbelief from Phillippe’s Piper, which necessarily heightens when responding to MacGruber’s nonsense.

It’s not like this nonsense is in short supply. More than ever, Forte throws himself into playing MacGruber as an alternately aggressive and wounded toddler, further illustrated by bringing in his character’s father (Sam Elliott) and some tragic family drama. There’s still plenty of room for classic Forte spinoffs, like spending the entire second episode completely naked. But more of that immersion involves cartoonish graphic violence this time around — funny, but not quite as inspired as, say, McGruber grunting obsessively at license plate number KFBR392 for his future revenge.

It’s those little moments of petulant obsession that feel like missing pieces from the series, even though they expand the story beyond the seemingly perfect 100 minutes or so. rings McGruber They’re singularly active – they fly live – but somehow still loose in the way that a lot of prestigious TV projects are loose, marrying the ongoing narrative of a movie with TV’s need to break things down into chapters. The slopes are played almost straight; Taccone and Solomon (although they’re not the series’ only directors, he is credited with the majority of the episodes) do little to use the cuts at the end of the episode to black out as bang-style punch lines. Aside from some longer fixed pieces, Forte and the company don’t make much use of the Limited Series format.

The rest is the advantages inherent in the manufacture McGruber Absolutely Stuff – The joy this character continues to exist through the sheer love of a few stubborn ones. The show is still goofy about how the brand of one-man patriotism sold by so many action movies is actually just raging narcissism, and Forte is still an expert in poor attempts to disguise a tantrum as laconic cold. Fans will be adopting some new running gags; Expect a slight uptick in locket sales among comedy geeks. It is a shame, however, that this mega-version cannot sustain its cynical ambitions or foolish sentimental notes, as well as, say, Ferrell’s long effort as Talladega nights.

As a character and concept, MacGruber specializes in overkill. It turns out that his streaming service is on the same page, albeit for more algorithmic reasons than bloodthirstiness. Why call us 100 minutes of content, when the job can be done with twice that?

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