The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, Season 1

Television, 2010

I think the biggest problem with this show, while often being perfectly amusing and occasionally hilarious, is that it’s not nearly as inventive as you might hope from a show that has David Cross’ name listed so many times in its credits (he created, wrote and stars in the show). It’s a totally linear narrative where we laugh at ridiculous characters, and there’s an inordinately hot, white love interest for the doughy, also white protagonist to pine over. Spike Jonze, in an acting role, is my favorite part of the show. His well observed, nuanced, raw portrayal of a meek, passive agressive office drone looks like an art film next to all the other big shot comedic actors broad performances that leave no room for thought. This show touches on an issue that occasionally bothers me about comedies. The mixing of unrealistic, cartoon characters with mundane personalities. I guess I feel like this has to be consistent- either everyone we see has to be a cartoon character, no one can be a cartoon character, or just the protagonist(s) can be a cartoon character. Burn After Reading got this right. Pineapple Express did not. Seeing it as inconsistent as it is here can make the world it’s happening in seem lightly conceived.

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