Disenchantment: The First (?) Season
August 20, 2018 10:20 AM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Matt Groening returns to TV (well, Netflix) with a fantasy-based, more serialized story than his previous work.

Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) voices Princess Bean of Dreamland, a fantasy kingdom with most of the usual tropes. Bean's father, King Zog (John DiMaggio, doing his Futurama worker-guy voice), tries to get her to be more of a princess and less of an alcoholic layabout. Accompanied by Elfo the elf (Nat Faxon, Oscar-winner and voice of Pickle on Blaze and the Monster Machines) and Luci the demon (Eric André of various memes), Bean is constantly taken out of the bars she'd rather be haunting and thrust into quest after quest.
posted by Etrigan (53 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Two episodes in and I remain undecided if I like it or not. The animation is great (for a Groening show), but I think one of the problems is the laugh to time ratio is a bit off. I spend more time watching than laughing, and it's not that there aren't jokes being slung around, it's just that I'm not finding them THAT amusing. There's definitely a darker edge to this comedy that was always kind of present in Futurama, but not nearly as prevalent as it is here. It's not necessarily bad, but I'm still struggling over whether I like the main protagonist or not (Princess Bean). In a weird way, she's a lot like Bender (if not totally Benderish) or a character from Futurama who occasionally slings traditional "good behavior" out the window for selfish reasons - but I haven't had a chance to grow fond of her like those characters.

The supporting characters are fine, if a bit not fully developed yet to my satisfaction. Her personal demon, Luci, is definitely much more a Bender type, but like Elfo, I'm really waiting for a reason to appreciate them being around. At the moment, Elfo's in story purpose seems to be to lust after Bean.

Anyhoots, I'll keep at it until it drives me away on a meh-mobile or I really start to enjoy it.
posted by Atreides at 11:57 AM on August 20, 2018 [4 favorites]


I've watched all the way through, and I'd be on board for this ride mostly on the the merit of the medieval jokes alone, but I like that Bean's struggles are pretty down-to-earth at their core. Her problems are really recognizable in our world: she doesn't know what she wants out of life, but it's not what her family has set out for her, she's pretty alienated from the people who should care most about her, she lives for impulse and momentary pleasure because there's so little to look forward to, she forms a found family (that's only a little toxic) with similar misfits. She has good intentions most of the time, but poor impulse control, and very little self-reflection. So far, I've found her a pretty endearing character. I like the world-building that evolves as the season unfolds, and I would really like to see more of it. Sure, Luci is very Bender-ish, while Elfo is like a more naive Fry, but they are clearly set up to be the foils that clarify Bean's character.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 12:21 PM on August 20, 2018 [7 favorites]


Well I was waiting for a fanfare thread for this. I watched three episodes and noped right out - it seemed like a boring retread and the ludicrous lack of female characters was hugely off-putting. But monsieur_lamb had it on in the background and I found myself paying attention again towards to the end of the season. The series-arc narrative is an interesting move.

Having said that it still feels dated. Bojack has raised the bar for long-form storytelling in 'adult' animated sitcom, and Rick and Morty is way beyond for episodic stuff so I just don't see where this fits in the current landscape. I was also a bit weirded out by so many Boosh actors turning up (assuming this was the Rich Fulcher connection?). It's fab that they were involved but the voices were not new - Noel Fielding as Tony Harrison as the Executioner as the most egregious example.

Also Bean was disappointing to me, characterwise. She's pretty dull until later on. It mightn't have been such an issue if they hadn't been playing up the 'strong female protagonist' angle. Ooh, that got my goat. Sticking a single woman in a world overwhelmingly populated by male characters - EXCEPT in drive-by female coded roles (the witch, the mother, the step-mother, the hooker, the help) is boring AF and highly retrograde. Why is Luci male? Makes no sense. I had high hopes (no pun intended) first for the gal gang member and then Tess, but both went nowhere.

But I did love Luci's animation. And Elfo was great. So, given the turn of events in the last ep I could entertain seeing where the next series goes but more in passing than excitement.
posted by freya_lamb at 12:25 PM on August 20, 2018 [6 favorites]


Matt Groening on NPR:
"I issue this challenge to the viewers," Groening says. "The very first thing you see in animation on Disenchantment ... gives a big clue as to what the nature of this universe is ... there's lots of secret clues and puzzles and even treasures. No monetary value, but they're in there."
I watched the whole thing, and rewatched the start of the first episode, and I have no idea what he's talking about. (Unless the opening shot of the bed, combined with the kingdom's name, "Dreamland", are telling us that it's all dream -- in which case, fine, whatever.)
posted by paper chromatographologist at 12:35 PM on August 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


I think one of the problems is the laugh to time ratio is a bit off. I spend more time watching than laughing, and it's not that there aren't jokes being slung around, it's just that I'm not finding them THAT amusing.


There was a recent NPR piece that made the show click for me -- not in that I started enjoying it, but in that it recalibrated what was even going on with it:
Groening and co-creator Josh Weinstein took a different approach to writing Disenchantment, plotting it as a drama and then adding jokes.

"It's a challenge to go for things that aren't funny," Groening says. "And we just riffed off each other and came up with an overarching epic tale and we know where we're going with this. We're going to take this thing really crazy places."

And that's the biggest difference between this show and the rest of Groening's work. During our conversation, he alludes more than once to the existence of a big narrative riddle that lies behind Disenchantment and will eventually be revealed.
'Plotting it as a drama and then adding jokes' is, I think, the basis of my (er) disenchantment with the series: I'm halfway through the season, and that's basically my take: there are about fifteen minutes worth of jokes in a thirty-minute show. It doesn't work as a comedy, because of that -- the Simpsons partly works because of the density of its jokes, and this transplants a lot of that style of humor but sprinkles it more sparsely. That doesn't hold up.

And, on top of that, a lot of the jokes are pretty lazy. The 'uneducated backwoods characters' in episode 6 are a tired, tired trope, for example (that's on my mind having watched that episode most recently), and there's a lot of jokesmithing that feels similar (though that was the worst example, I think) -- either lazy for being reused, or lazy for being reused within the course of the show ('Bean is drinking -- when she shouldn't be!!!' is a punchline several times, for some inexplicable reason).

As a drama, it (so far, at episode six) hasn't done much in the way of either characterization or narrative; the stakes, in a world where the main characters fall hundreds of feet off a cliff and survive unscathed, or where a man can survive for hours despite a sword through the head, feel a bit low. I sort of suspect there might be something up with that, but for now it feels like a world where the comedy of 'what's funny is what happens' gets in the way of the drama that it wants to build up. There are plenty of shows that can combine comedy and drama; so far, this has missed the mark on both.

Which is kind of a shame, because the voice work is nifty and the animation is swell; I wish they'd come up with something better to do with this world that they'd built.
posted by cjelli at 12:47 PM on August 20, 2018 [10 favorites]


I've watched one episode, and all through it my wife and I just kept saying "huh, this is odd." Not odd in a good way, not strange and exciting, just kind of alien. I don't really have the knowledge or vocab for film criticism, but something just seemed off. It wasn't funny, or particularly dramatic. The jokes were cliché and the whole thing felt old, like it was based on something Groening wrote in the 90s. The animation sure was pretty though. I don't know. I'll give it another episode or two to catch me.
posted by arcticwoman at 1:00 PM on August 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


I turned it off halfway through the first episode. A comedy show has a problem if even I can spot the jokes before they're spoken aloud on screen. And I didn't crack a smile once...
posted by Pendragon at 1:14 PM on August 20, 2018


Watched the first episode, and I hope it gets better, because the only joke that even got a chuckle out of me was the racist antelope. I mean, it looks great, the animation is like the Simpsons had an animation budget, but the jokes all fell flat for me.

Maybe I'll watch ep 2, but probably not. Gonna try Bojack Horseman.
posted by Sphinx at 2:34 PM on August 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'm about three episodes in and I really, really want to like this more than I do so far. I do feel like the elements are mostly in place for this to be a solid, funny show, so maybe it'll get there? I'll report back here when I finish the season.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:40 PM on August 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


I agree it's uneven, but I watched through all of it. Partly because the backgrounds and scenery are actually well done.
posted by FJT at 2:43 PM on August 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


I enjoyed this a lot more once it was done and I was able to look back at the breadth and the scope of it. I feel like Groening went into this wanting to do something like the Futurama "movies", but Netflix said "Great! We'll take ten episodes!" and he didn't know how to tell them he had like a three-hour movie in his head.
posted by Etrigan at 2:55 PM on August 20, 2018 [3 favorites]


Ep 1 definitely favors introducing the setting and characters over humor. It picks up over the next few, but it's not the rapidfire joke delivery you got in Futurama.
posted by figurant at 2:59 PM on August 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


Watching episode three makes me think it’s like I Dream of Jeannie. Round room, feathers, Harlem pants ...
posted by tilde at 3:41 PM on August 20, 2018


I watched the first two episodes, not sure if I can take any more. There were maybe four jokes I laughed at and a lot more I winced at, and weirdly slowed-down pace between them.

It felt literally slowed down, I realized during Elfio's escape. Like, even for something dramatic that wasn't going to have a joke in every shot, Elfio was moving slow, he was jumping through the air slow. It's not just jokes, it's density of everything that feels off to me. Maybe it's psychological time dilation caused by repeated experiences of, "What are you going to show me in this shot? Oh, just that? Ok."

Also I felt like this show doesn't know it's trapped behind the long shadows of Shrek and Adventure Time, but unfortunately way more behind Shrek. Unlike Futurama which was pretty genre-savvy and intelligent, this show seems like it has no idea of prior work in the area, even say the first episode of Gravity Falls^ which I mean they had to know right? I don't love Gravity Falls but when its good it's kind of amazing. The same could be said of Futurama. Is this show ever going to be amazing? TBH I don't know if this show even compares well to the tiny wisp of smoke that would be safe-for-work Oglaf. It's like two levels of expectations-of-thwarted-genre-conventions back.

It also kinda felt like Bad Mel Brooks to me. The show is brand new and its humor hasn't aged well.

I'd love to hear that it gets its shit together in later episodes.
posted by fleacircus at 5:23 PM on August 20, 2018 [6 favorites]


It also kinda felt like Bad Mel Brooks to me. The show is brand new and its humor hasn't aged well.


Also bits of Monty Python and Princess Bride thrown in too. I'll keep watching mostly because I need something distracting and non-taxing to watch but I'm disappointed so far.
posted by octothorpe at 5:28 PM on August 20, 2018


>I'd love to hear that it gets its shit together in later episodes.

Having just binged the last three episodes of the season: the last three episodes are practically a different show, in both pacing and tone. It's better, to the point where I'm genuinely interested in the second season (if it gets one); it's not really funnier, but it makes the drama work and it stops being weirdly slow.

I wouldn't say it's necessarily worth sticking it out for, if anyone quit early; but if you already made it to episodes six or seven, it's worth it to keep going.
posted by cjelli at 5:35 PM on August 20, 2018 [9 favorites]


I really liked it, all the little touches in the world building and the three main characters' friendship. Bean grew on me and Elfo and Luci were just great. Oona is my secret favourite though.

Reading the comments I feel like I'm watching either an entirely different show or you guys expected steak and got annoyed at a great burger. It was funny and weird and pretty and sweet.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 5:46 PM on August 20, 2018 [6 favorites]


I think people were expecting medieval Futurama (Retrorama?). They should go back and watch the first episode of Futurama. Most of these criticisms would apply there too, providing you could erase the years of world and character building and see it fresh.
posted by adept256 at 6:11 PM on August 20, 2018 [7 favorites]


Also, I would require the writers to read the entirety of Pratchett before applying for the job.
posted by adept256 at 6:15 PM on August 20, 2018 [4 favorites]


I watched the first two episodes and don't really feel the need to watch any more. I was hoping for more of a "Dealing with Dragons" vibe than rehashed Simpsons/Mel Brooks jokes.
posted by mogget at 7:01 PM on August 20, 2018


I'm two episodes in, and about to watch a third, but...yeah. Kinda underwhelmed so far.

This isn't quite what I was expecting, thematically – I thought it was gonna be a spoof of Dungeons & Dragons, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, etc. But it draws more from fairy tales than anything else. An odd choice.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:17 PM on August 20, 2018


Also: maybe it's silly to complain about anachronisms in a fantasy world, but this show is all over the place. It has everything from ancient Greek myths to Victorian carriages. Maybe this is supposed to be part of the joke? If so, it's not working for me. It just makes me confused about what, exactly, is being parodied.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:25 PM on August 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


the last three episodes are practically a different show, in both pacing and tone

Based on your comment I watched them and I mostly agree. The pacing is not so bizarre. The tone is better, though I could do without the "gender is a spectrum and cultural appreciation hyuck hyuck" bit. I wanna say the show ends stronger because a certain major character is less active, too.
posted by fleacircus at 10:43 PM on August 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


This show is OK. I strongly agree with adept256 about Futurama, and the bad Mel Brooks comparison.

As soon as I saw that they were doing the unrequited love thing with Elfo & Bean, I thought, again?? And yes, again. I loved Elfo at first because there was something goth about his demand to be able to express and experience something other than the total happiness society expects. That's a clever character premise, and I thought he would be a little more centered on it. I'm not done with the season yet, but his character is becoming Xander-y, and it's more like darkness is being thrust upon him instead of him seeking it out, neither of which is so funny.

It's nice to hear Rich Fulcher, Matt Berry, and Noel Fielding's voices... I keep hoping there will be less of Zog screaming in each episode.
posted by heatvision at 3:54 AM on August 21, 2018 [3 favorites]


We just heard about this, and might check it out, but from the responses, it seems like an adult "Star vs. the Forces of Evil", but with fewer jokes. If people like the premise, but want more comedy, then check out Star... It has narrative arcs, and strong female characters (and female friendships) too! I love Futurama, but in retrospect, it's pretty much killed my interest's in Groening's "male friend pining-love-interest" themes, so I'm not enthused about Elfo. Why can't there be more women in this show?
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 11:03 AM on August 21, 2018 [4 favorites]


I came in here to write some mean things about elfo, but I think that any second I spend thinking about elfo [or any character who is not oona] is a wasted second of my life.

I could be having a nap. I'm going to do that instead.
posted by Acari at 11:32 AM on August 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


Unfunny and dull, cut from the worst of latter-day Simpsons and the worst of Futurama. Could barely force myself to get through the first episode and I'm not particularly optimistic that it'd be long before I hit the inevitable post-Futurama DiMaggio ha-ha-gay-voice character in the next few episodes.

Rich Fulcher deserves better.
posted by sonascope at 1:10 PM on August 21, 2018


So for background I'm a huge Futurama fan, like I can probably recite every episode from memory—and I'm not, otherwise, that sort of nerd who even can do that.

It was very disorienting going into this show expecting, basically, "Pastorama" and getting something very different. But having gone through the whole season the characters and setting really grew on me, and now that I'm rewatching it's odd how much more funny the various sight gags strike me a second time. Things like the ogre falling on Elfo except he passes harmlessly through the hole in his chest. What's funny is that's more or less how I responded to the last few post-reincarnation seasons of Futurama. It took some watches to get into the groove with them.

On a side note I'm really loving hearing Maurice Lamarche and Tress MacNeille doing their things again. Agreed on, while there's lots I love from John DiMaggio, this king voice is not one of them.
posted by traveler_ at 10:07 PM on August 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


4 episodes in, I agree with the pacing problems and a low hit to miss joke ratio, but as more of a ex Simpsons kid than a Futurama one, it's sort if interesting to see this as a reimagining of the Simpsons where Lisa finally gets to be the main character.

I mean, she kind of already was the main character in that her mindset was probably most similar to the viewers', but Homer and Bart always stole the spotlight. I think shifting the spotlight to Lisa/Bean naturally lends itself to a slower paced slightly more story-driven style.

I also like that as a grown up, she's still woke to the brokenness of society, but while child Lisa had a naive optimism about fixing the brokenness of blind consumerism and tv-addicted culture, "disenchanted" Bean would usually rather just nope out of her duties to the pre-enlightenment feudal monarchy world. I guess this is more why I see a connection to the Simpsons that Futurama, because it's partly about the society as a whole. Futurama missed that part for me. This does feel similar to Futurama in the cultural gags and tropes of a fiction genre, but the broader social commentary feels more Simpsony (albeit a little less relevant by setting it in a fantasy world).
posted by p3t3 at 11:19 PM on August 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


Well, I wasn't greatly taken by this, although I did watch the whole thing, and it improved greatly towards the end. The backgrounds are very pretty, with a sort of PG-Oglaf vibe (if there could ever be such a thing) and I liked the music, but the characters were rather unappealing, and there wasn't much plot, except towards the end, when there was too much plot. Nowhere near enough jokes, and several of those were recognizable from other things. Lots of pointers to a second season at the end though, where it might improve a bit. Overall there was something a bit off about it, maybe the pacing?

I suppose the main problem is that while there isn't a lot of funny science fiction around, there is a lot of medieval/fantasy comedy, most of it funnier and more genre-savvy than this - like most of Pratchett, the first season of Blackadder, Galavant, some of The Magicians, and it only really works if the writers know and like the genre.
posted by Fuchsoid at 2:18 AM on August 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


Agreed. So, now I’ve seen to the end, and I will agree the story picks way up, but - it never, ever, makes me less angry at the “Elfo is in lust with Bean and thinking about it every moment of every day” trope. Especially when it plays with the “and she will go for it and reward that nonsense”.

The last episode was amazing- but it made me more frustrated with why we had to suffer through really dumb jokes to get there. And the thing is - what others have said about medieval humor having already been done is 100% true. The humor is only really funny when it uses the medieval to make jokes about our world or our assumptions. Prince #2 rolling in as the King of the Walruses was funny (though subsequent joking less so). The racist antelope sign was funny as hell. The giant’s first speech was funny. The “all’s well, if you’re cool with poverty and disease” was funny, though went on a bit too long. And there just wasn’t enough of that, too much was wasted with sight gags and “lol Elfo”, which, I have hated Elfo since episode 2 and nothing that happened made me change my mind.
posted by corb at 6:54 AM on August 22, 2018 [3 favorites]


The racist antelope sign was funny as hell.

I think it would have been funnier if they hadn't actually had the antelope appear, but maybe that's just me.

As for the show itself, I liked it. It DID start off pretty slow, and yeah some of it was hackneyed and silly, but the last few episodes and payout was good. I'd happily watch another season of it.

Also I think I'm the only person on Earth (and maybe in Elfwood) who doesn't hate Elfo.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:32 AM on August 22, 2018 [2 favorites]


it never, ever, makes me less angry at the “Elfo is in lust with Bean and thinking about it every moment of every day” trope. Especially when it plays with the “and she will go for it and reward that nonsense”.

This is my least favorite thing about the show. We already did that with the Fry/Leela dynamic, and while the writers of Futurama understood Fry needed to grow to have that relationship be narratively satisfying at all, it still felt like Leela was settling a bit. I feel like the mystery of Elfo's origins may be set up as a way to have his character change in some way that might make him a more suitable partner for Bean, but I really hope they don't do that. There might be a way they're setting up this "Nice Guy" plot to pay off in an unexpected and interesting way, but I'm already side-eyeing all the "friendzone" jokes.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 10:59 AM on August 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


This show did do one thing for me : I can't wait for BoJack Horseman season 5.
posted by Pendragon at 1:18 PM on August 22, 2018


Moviebob review.
posted by Pendragon at 1:40 PM on August 22, 2018


I loved Elfo at first because there was something goth about his demand to be able to express and experience something other than the total happiness society expects. That's a clever character premise, and I thought he would be a little more centered on it.

Yeah, but they just . . . . dropped it. There are definitely lots of comic & dramatic possibilities in the "fish out of water" thing, especially when the fish leaves the water because it's too nice and warm and easy but is a totally unprepared naif in dealing with the larger world. (I mean, Luci is a demon sent to corrupt Bean, but quickly realizes that really all he's doing is encouraging Bean's existing tendencies to rebellion and bad behavior - it would only make sense for him to focus his energy on corrupting/horrifying the real innocent.)

But no, once Elfo leaves ElfLand Elfo mostly just pines after Bean, which,

As soon as I saw that they were doing the unrequited love thing with Elfo & Bean, I thought, again?? And yes, again.

Yup.

killed my interest's in Groening's "male friend pining-love-interest" themes,

Yup.

“Elfo is in lust with Bean and thinking about it every moment of every day” trope. Especially when it plays with the “and she will go for it and reward that nonsense”.

And Yup again. I am just really really really really tired of this trope, from Groening or anyone. Even besides the fact that IRL this pining/friendzone thing is often (usually) rooted in male entitlement (and thus pretty problematic as a major character trait here in 2018), it's just been done to death. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you were a nerd too scared to talk to the cute girl in 8th grade - welcome to the club, buddy, now get down off the cross we could use the wood.


Nthing that the last three episodes picked up considerably - to the point where I suppose second/third/more seasons might not happen, but the whole story took such an abrupt shift that it seemed to me more like the next seasons were really what Groening & Cohen & the rest of the creative team were aiming for. Like they wanted to have the big season-ending cliffhanger to get to the story they're actually interested in telling, but didn't really have enough material to fill ten episodes worth of character-introduction and world-building, so there was a lot of treading water in the first season. The end of the season was different enough to at least keep me interested in seeing where the show goes from here.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:28 PM on August 22, 2018 [11 favorites]


I was really down on the show after watching the first four episodes - and the weird pacing/editing continues through, but I really likes the last 2-3 episodes. I'm intrigued enough to watch part two when it comes out.
I also agree with what others said above: the joke-smithing is weak (The Good Place really raised the bar for puns) and elfo pining for bean is really meh
posted by motdiem2 at 5:45 AM on August 23, 2018


I basically binged the whole thing last night with a bottle of wine and I found it entertaining enough. I think everyone's expecting too much out of it compared to Futurama. I was too, but after the first 2 episodes I realized it's a different kind of show altogether.

The Bean/Elfo stuff didn't bother me so much since it's not actually a huge part of the stories. Maybe like 4/10 episodes has that as a B plot, the rest of the time it's just one-off jokes that works half the time and there was enough other stuff for me to focus on when it didn't work. I chose to focus on Bean as an aimless princess with no idea what to do with her life and ends up drinking a lot and it was kind of relatable and made the show more engaging for me. That and her unexplained fighting skills against the vikings and other villains, but I guess years of running around town fighting in pubs is sufficient experience.

Also, the 2nd prince of Bentwood is great material, the walruses, the turning into a pig, etc.

Luci was probably the most intriguing character, with his constant questioning of his own morals (or lack thereof) every time he chose to do the right thing in a life-or-death situation. In that way he's a lot like Bender, but less braggy, which somehow gave him more nuance.

I also want more Tess, and I'm sure we'll see her next season.
posted by numaner at 12:08 PM on August 23, 2018


After finishing the series, I concur with most everyone who watched it through - it got better. I think it was the pacing and the decision to push toward a Bean who's motivated from something other than drink and cause problems; i.e., ambassadorship (this was a sad one, thanks Luci), or choosing her mom over Elfo in the penultimate episode.

I'll say it, I'm actually intrigued as to what happens next, but I do wish the first few episodes hadn't been as much of a slog. The way they chose to write the giant made me wonder if it was a direct rebuttal to their previous work on giant women and boyfriends (i.e., Futurama).

Anyhoots, I think the show has a chance to be solid, but this back half is going to have a lot of pressure on it to do so.
posted by Atreides at 2:19 PM on August 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


I watched the whole thing. Agree with most of the criticisms above. The jokes are so stale, it’s amazing how people’s sense of humor can ossify so rigidly. Apart from the pretty animation tis show could have been made twenty years ago. And agree that the creators seem to have not kept up on the current state of animation or actually watched any cartoons from the last ten years. I liked it well enough to watch the while season and I’d probably watch another season as well, but it’s pretty bordsry. It’s really carried by the charming voice work. Also yas to the dissatisfaction with Elfo and his unrequited nonsense, this is somold and just tired man. I really never need to see this play out again.
posted by supercrayon at 2:45 PM on August 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


As a professional fool myself, I found the recurring gag of doing bodily violence to the fool unnecessary and offensive.
posted by Stanczyk at 3:21 PM on August 23, 2018


But other than that I kind of liked the show. I'd watch a second season.
posted by Stanczyk at 3:23 PM on August 23, 2018


it’s amazing how people’s sense of humor can ossify so rigidly.

For me, it's more than just the humour - the entire structure of the show. I've watched about 4 episodes now, and I just... feel nothing. Like, I see jokes are being made, but they're generally not funny, and when I compare the depth of characters to other modern sitcoms - like Brooklyn 99 for example - they just look so flat.

Again, compared to Brooklyn 99, it feels so slow, and simple - empty, even. It's just very thin so far. The music and animation is excellent, I'll give it that.
posted by smoke at 4:37 PM on August 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


There are interesting things happening to oddball and (mostly) unique characters. It's not overly sexist or offensive and it seems to like it's characters. Think about how many comedies/animated shows exist only to demean theirs. It's not a great show but cut it some slack people.

It also likes its characters. I love Rick and Morty/Venture Brothers/Archer but man I need a break from shows that exist merely to skewer their own protagonists and emphasize their awfulness.
posted by M Edward at 10:27 PM on August 23, 2018 [7 favorites]


I liked it well enough, and towards the end it really was showing some potential, but I do feel like, probably unfairly, what I want is The Adventure Zone: The Series and this isn't even supposed to be that so I hope it finds its voice next season so I can stop comparing it to other things.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:53 PM on August 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


SPOILERS
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So, anyone catch the cameo by Fry, Bender, and Farnsworth in the last episode? Do you think the big reveal is that it's all in the Futurama universe?
posted by FJT at 3:59 PM on August 24, 2018 [5 favorites]


I liked the show in general. I don't think it's found its groove so I hope it gets a second season. As mentioned by others, the chase scenes are strangely slow and lacking in tension. Every time there's an extended chase without much dialogue the show stops dead in its tracks. I don't exactly know why. I think part of it might be the music. It's weirdly dirge-like.
posted by runcibleshaw at 8:45 PM on August 25, 2018


Having been through most of the season now, I disagree with my my own early assessment comparing Bean to Lisa Simpson. They're similar in that they both see the problems in their world which everyone else is indifferent toward, but in Bean's case it's offset by some Bart traits like self-interest and lazy cynicism.

And with some later hints toward Futurama, I'm probably wasting time with all these Simpsons comparisons anyways, but if this show gets a few more seasons, they will have a chance at deeper world-building through the secondary characters which the Simpsons was so good at.

Agree that this will probably find more of a groove in the future if they get the chance. Also I want to hate Elfo for his stupid character arc, but he's still a good punchline vessel sometimes.
posted by p3t3 at 7:17 AM on August 26, 2018


I feel like maybe they need to add a couple more people to the core cast, and also make the world bigger, like some more opportunity for variety in the jokes and plots is missing because the world feels kind of small. I know it's not Futurama and I shouldn't judge it that way but part of what kept Futurama fresh was that they kept building out the world with new people for the core group to meet and had more variety in the core group to hit different kinds of jokes (and drama!) and it found a lot of its most memorable bits in the process. Ditto The Simpsons, and Bob's Burgers, and Archer, Bojack, the Venture Bros, Adventure Time, Steven Universe, and on and on, they grow their worlds and that keeps the show going.

Like this show perks up a bit when they give time to Big Joe or Oona or the magician or Dagmar but they need to keep that going and not go back to the castle or back to the knights so much. Even if this show is intended to be a drama with jokes rather than straight comedy, something like Steven Universe hits both the drama and comedy better in part because it doesn't feel small.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:27 AM on August 26, 2018


So, anyone catch the cameo by Fry, Bender, and Farnsworth in the last episode? Do you think the big reveal is that it's all in the Futurama universe?

Considering what Groening has been saying about everything here not being what it seems - it's going to turn out to be Westworld, isn't it?
posted by Fuchsoid at 2:16 PM on August 26, 2018 [3 favorites]


Considering what Groening has been saying about everything here not being what it seems - it's going to turn out to be Westworld, isn't it?

This is probably the Futurama withdrawl speaking, but I’d be tickled pink if someone in Disenchanted — anyone — had a part of themselves torn open to reveal their clockwork innards. The how-who-why? of the show would ratchet right up in a heartbeat.

I have a sinking suspicion, however, that it all may be as on-the-nose as it seems. I mean, come on — Dreamland? I’m hoping against it, but I’ve been burned before by the promise of a central mystery only to find the central mystery to turn out silly, lazy, or obvious. (cough cough Moffatt ahem BSG gollum gollum JJ Abrams)

...Unless Bean wakes up into an entirely different show. That might work.
posted by Construction Concern at 8:44 AM on September 3, 2018 [1 favorite]


The character designs of the King and his and Una's sons made me think of King Roland and Prince Thomas in an alternate universe where they made a cartoon of Eyes of the Dragon. That would be sweet as hell but this was pretty good in the end. I enjoyed the use of three dimensions in how the orb works to reveal the twist in the last episode.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:51 PM on September 10, 2018 [1 favorite]


Finally finished watching and it was worth sticking it out and there does seem to be a season 2 in the works so I'm looking forward to that.
posted by octothorpe at 1:54 PM on September 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


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