Thursday, March 24, 2016

Television Review: Cuckoo Seasons 1 &2 (Netflix)

There came a time when I was watching all of my weekly shows so quickly that I needed to find something else to watch as well.   After reading the "Regular Show" comic book I went back and began watching that again from the beginning, but before I binged on "The Goldbergs" I found "Cuckoo" on Netflix.    Really it just popped up under "comedy" and since it was something I hadn't seen in that small rectangle before I clicked the description and found out it had Andy Samberg in it and that was enough for me.  (I love "Brooklyn Nine-Nine")

To best sum the concept that is "Cuckoo" is to compare it with something else and the more that I thought about it the more I realized that it is a lot like the Pauly Shore movie "Son-In-Law", which then brings about comparisons between Pauly Shore and Andy Samberg and that could have us here for quite some time discussing it at length.   But the title character- Cuckoo (played by Samberg)- meets, falls in love with and marries a woman who has a somewhat traditional family over in the UK and so when she returns he comes with her.   The only thing different from the movie is that we don't see a lot of them before they go back home and she springs the surprise on everyone.

"Cuckoo" is just flat out funny.   I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about it but the family characters surrounding it make the show what it is.    For me, it isn't even really a show about Cuckoo as a main character so much as it being about the father of the family and, well, if you watch this show- the first season of it anyway- and can only be involved with the Andy Samberg character, who is still funny though.

What happens for Season Two is somewhat unexpected but they actually took Andy Samberg out of the show and kind of replaced him with Taylor Lautner (who I will always best remember for being Shark Boy).    I knew that since I had watched the first season I would certainly at least give the second season a try because I wanted to at least see what it was like, but I'm glad that I did watch that first episode because it just confirmed what I already knew: this show isn't about any singular character, but rather all of the characters.    And as long as it doesn't lose the father character (portrayed by Greg Davies) I think it will be all right.

So in the beginning of Season Two we find out that Cuckoo is dead and then Taylor Lautner comes to town as a character named Dale and reveals that Cuckoo was his father and, well, Lautner and his sort-of-mom Rachel have a lot of unspoken sexual chemistry because he reminds her so much of Cuckoo but he keeps calling her "mom" even though she isn't anywhere close to being that.   It makes for a fun dynamic and, oh yeah, did I mention that Dale also used to be in a cult??

The character of Rachel was also replaced after Season One and I'm not sure why but I did like the first version of her better, but alas, it doesn't ruin the series for me because we still have Greg Davies and in a lot of ways he- and Helen Baxendale- are the only actors who matter.   (Shout out to Tyger Drew-Honey though)

I looked up what was going on through iMDB to figure out why two seasons already exist and how I'm just finding out about it now through Netflix and it indeed Andy Samberg left "Cuckoo" to be on "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" or if he could have done both, etc.    What I found was that "Cuckoo" is actually a first run show in the UK and then it got picked up for distribtution here in the United States by Netflix and that's what makes it a "Netflix Original"  (So, if you lived outside of the U.S. you could watch it if you don't have Netflix)

There is also a third season out which Netflix doesn't have* (And I'm not going to tell Netflix how to spend my money, but maybe they should acquire that instead of giving Will Smith $90million for a movie I won't likely ever watch) but if/when it does come to Netflix I will be sure to watch it and I do know that the characters from Season Two stay put in their acting roles.   But yes, "Cuckoo" is just an all around funny show that anyone who enjoys comedy will enjoy.   It is a perfect mix of British and American humor.

*In searching for an image to accompany this review, I found that Season 3 is indeed coming to Netflix on April 15, 2016.  

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