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Forrest MacNeil’s 5 Bravest Reviews of ‘Review’ (So Far)

Forrest MacNeil's 5 Bravest Reviews of 'Review' (So Far)

Editor’s Note: This article is presented in partnership with Comedy Central’s Review. New episodes Thursdays 10/9c on Comedy Central and anytime on the Comedy Central APP.  

Forrest
MacNeil, host of Comedy Central’s cult favorite “Review,” returned this summer to
take another stab reviewing life experiences. Last season saw the end of
Forrest’s marriage, his father-in-law’s life, and his sanity, and it doesn’t look like 2015 is going to be Forest’s year either. But that’s his job as a critic of life itself. He experiences some of life’s worst moments so we don’t have to – no matter the cost. Here are his five bravest
reviews of 2015 (so far).

5) “Blackmail”

The
best reviews sneak up on Forrest’s personal life, tearing him between
professional integrity and common decency. In “Blackmail,” Forrest meets a new love — the nurse who taught him to
walk again, after he reviewed a bare-knuckle brawl ended with a bullet in the
gut — and then has to blackmail her for his next assignment. The segment jumps
between tender moments of newly kindled romance, and Forrest casually extorting
money from his girlfriend.

“Review” hits its highs when Forrest explores a premise over weeks, so
that we can see the horrific aftershocks. “Blackmail” is a dark, sad, and unnerving look at blackmailing your
lover — it has no right to be funny, except for the fact that it is.

4) “Being a Little Person”

“Being a Little Person” cleanses the palate at first, forcing Forrest to live the
life that little people around the world live every day. However, since he is
not a little person, Forrest enlarges everything inside his office to create
the illusion that he has shrunk. Overflowing with visual stupidity, the first
few minutes of “Being a Little Person” reward viewers for enduring the mayhem of the season.

But
it doesn’t end there. While he’s brushing his teeth with an oversized toothbrush, Forrest
realizes the insincerity of his premise, and in turn, pulls some Dorf videos
from his father’s archives. From there, things take a
much more sensitive approach. Forrest, walking on his knees, which have been
fashioned with shoes, lives the life of a little person. Yet, in an all-time
capper from complete absurdity to the dangers of knowing Forrest MacNiel, our
host and his father learn a lesson about fire extinguisher placement the hard
way. “Review” leads
its fans down a black hole of sadness and still manages to make a few Dorf
references. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

3) “Curing a Gay”

One
of “Review’s” most admirable feats is how they balance Forrest
and the people that pay the price for his reviews. In Season 1, this came from
Jessica St. Clair who, as Forrest’s estranged wife Suzanne, grounded
Daly’s insane reality. “Curing a Gay”
finds similar
characters to work against Forrest’s staunch professionalism.

Well-intentioned
and brave to a fault, Forrest takes on the challenge of “curing” a homosexual of their sexual orientation, a
feat that Forrest admits is impossible, illogical, disrespectful and wrong.
Still, he has a job to do, and while it’s hilarious watching Forrest interact
with a “cured” therapist
and performing proven treatments like “Holding,” it’s
when his subject finds compassion from a group of understanding strippers that
the episode really soars. Forrest’s ignorance to his subject’s awakening only highlights how closely the show toes the
line between offensive and hilarious.

2) “Mile High Club”

While
“Review” could be
enjoyed as a sketch show, breaking each segment into self-contained vignettes,
it’s much more fulfilling when viewed as
a whole, as seen with the follow-up to “Curing A Gay,” where the fallout from the previous sketch
crept its way into the action.

At
the end of “Curing a Gay,” Forrest announced that he had another new girlfriend,
Shampoo, the stripper he met in the section prior. Forrest assumed she would be
the perfect partner to take a trip to the “Mile High Club,” but when Forrest disregards the self respect of his fellow
humans, as he so frequently does, the result ends with Forrest broken,
embarrassed, and pitifully alone. No one plays those qualities with more gravitas
as Daly, and the episode’s simple premise, like “15
Pancakes” before it, turns into a deep journey
into the heart of human depravity. Five stars.

1) “Falsely Accused”

Like
“Blackmail” before it, “Being Falsely Accused” sees Forrest underestimating the human cost of his job and
paying the price for it. Opening with one of the best viewer letters in the
show’s history (“My sister ate my Mom’s birthday cake and I know she’s going to blame me cuz I am constantly eating people’s birthday cakes”), “Falsely
Accused” plays to Daly’s best sensibilities, an undeserved arrogance followed by
complete breakdown. It’s not entirely his fault, though. He
asks his assistants to accuse him of something simple, like stealing avocados
from an old lady’s tree, so they hatch a multi-faceted
scheme that gets him locked-up for arson and attempted murder. Filled with
fantastic little performances, especially by Forrest’s lawyer, “Falsely Accused” works like a police procedural that’s as funny as it is suspenseful. A great review leaves the
audience wondering how Forrest will get out alive, and in “Falsely Accused”
is no exception.

All new episodes of Review air Thursdays 10/9c on Comedy Central and anytime on the Comedy Central APP.

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