Alrighty folks, it’s time to get back to my Patreon-inspired posts. This time, at the behest of a lovely patron, I watched episode 1 of season 1 of the Adult Swim show Delocated. Nothing like a real challenge to ease me into spring. And let me say, this one was challenging.
I’ll be honest. It’s been hard getting my thoughts together here. You see, this show is simply not aimed at me. As you might have guessed from the involvement of Adult Swim, Delocated is ridiculous. And as you might have guessed from reading my blog, my tolerance for ridiculous is rather low.* I just don’t like silly comedies,** so it’s always difficult to tell if something is missing the mark or simply missing my mark.
This series is a mock reality show that chronicles the life and adventures of a suburban family in witness protection (“Jon”, “Susan”, and son “David”***) as they’re swept away from their sedate life in middle America and whisked off to New York City and what’s supposed to be “a sweet loft”. Of course the sweet loft turns out to be not-so-sweet, and “Susan” leaves “Jon”, taking “David” with her.
After the breakup we see “Jon” start a new job and then decide it’s time to start dating again–possibly all in the same day? It’s not really clear. He is, of course, a giant ass, which is what the show hangs its hat on in terms of comic focus. If you’re a fan of main characters who are utter heels, this is absolutely for you. If you can’t get past that sort of thing (even when it’s played up to mock shows with assy main characters), then you probably want to steer clear.
Oh, and did I mention the whole family wears ski masks? Because the whole family wears ski masks.
I admit I didn’t quite spend the entire time glaring daggers. I did manage to find some elements to engage me cerebrally, so I don’t consider those 11 minutes a total loss. Delocated is clearly lampooning reality shows, and I can get behind that. All the expected tropes are in evidence. We get plenty of quick establishing shots of the city, jump cuts (as “Jon” writhes on the couch and moans about his lost family), diary-cam scenes (“Jon” explains his new job to the viewers), and manufactured drama (the sweet loft being less-than-sweet, or Mike, the friendly law-enforcement officer assigned to “Jon”, not-so-subtly encouraging him to start dating). Even the quality of the “film stock” feels very classic-reality show. There’s more than a little Real Worldesqueness° on display.
As far as I’m concerned, Delocated does what it sets out to do moderately well. The performances are spot on. The camerawork is excellent in its shaky-cam shoddiness. The obnoxious characters, “Jon” especially, are larger-than-life and adequately poke fun at reality tv.
But for me, the bottom line is this: I find unrealistically inflated characters and tawdry reality shows so distasteful that even a fairly on-point send-up is enough to make me want to crawl out of my skin–or at least change the channel.°° That said, if silliness, wackiness, and over-the-top humour are your thing, do give Delocated a shot. It might be right up your street.
My street, however, is across town in a very different neighborhood.
About the Patron:
Tim Budziszewski°°° is a musician and accomplished songwriter. His band, Government Zero, has been rocking the socks off the Midwest US for the last decade or so, and personally, I think the Midwest is all the better for it. His influences include Ramones, Weezer, Beatles, Misfits, Screeching Weasel, Green Day, Teen Idols, folk, pop, 80’s cartoon themes, punk, and 50’s rock and roll. How can you go wrong with that? Answer: You can’t.
*Unless it involves Muppets or spaceships
**Unless they’re British, and even then it’s not a guarantee
***Not their real names
°Yes, I really just said that. Shush.
°°Or the Netflix, as the case may be. Funny to think that actual “changing the channel” may go the way of the dodo.
°°°Yep, I’m certain I spelled that right. For those curious, it’s pronounced BOO – duh – SHESS – kee. Yes, really.