With three comedy heavyweights with John C. Reilly, Fred Armisen, and Tim HeideckerIn addition to a fascinating situation, Showtime’s new “Moon base 8Is an amusing, if somewhat empty, comedy in the workplace.
The six episodes of “Moonbase 8” in the first season follow the hijinks of Cap (Reilly), Skip (Armisen) and Rook (Heidecker) as they train for a possible manned mission to the moon in the not too distant future. Left to itself in the Arizona desert and attempting to recreate the isolation and atmosphere of the moon, the show leans on its strange, quarantine-friendly premise and instantly introduces Cap driving around a weird little rover that is completely is adorned with a spacesuit. The trio spend their time acting, pretending that a shipping container is an airlock, disrupting their suits is life and death, and every decision they make has consequences. “Moonbase 8”, left alone in its own bubble and boring routine, with only sporadic updates from NASA, seems to be tailored to our current situation, as the three put each other to the test and above all find ways to get around their boredom to heal .
A revolving door made up of fourth members, including a particularly hilarious cameo in the first episode that is best left untouched, underscores the trio’s dysfunction when other astronauts walk in, complete the training regiment, and Cap, Skip, and Rook alone in the trio’s eternal purgatory leave surrounding desert. Co-designed by its three stars as well as the director and the EP Jonathan Krisel (“baskets”),“ Moonbase 8 ”is more amusing than laughing out loud, and brings the characters’ mistakes to an extreme end. If they refuse to let NASA know about the problems they are encountering so they don’t get kicked out of the program, every mistake the budding astronauts make will be made worse. Mixing up the water supply will leave them on the verge of dehydration. A psychological test is taken to a violent extreme and Cap and Skip’s friendship is put to the test. A rival in a particularly memorable episode SpaceX The training mission is right next to Moonbase 8 and highlights the disproportionate finances the private company has compared to NASA.
Despite the reference to SpaceX, “Moonbase 8” is as hermetic as its characters and never really leaves the title base or extends the scope of the storytelling as the season progresses. Despite its premiere on Showtime and the cast / creator pedigree, the show is a pretty straightforward sitcom that gets most of its jokes out of staff interactions and the insane work they’re forced to do. While the show takes some time to give the three backstories, including Cap’s divorce, Skip’s father and his own work for NASA, as well as Rook’s religious beliefs and his distant wife, those themes aren’t really developed. Instead, each episode adopts a flush and repetition mentality that never really builds on each other.
When the finale comes where the group is forced to compete with a group of ranchers who claim the base is on their land, Cap, Skip and Rook have not evolved in any meaningful way and are constantly stuck in the Repetitions of their common quarantine life, reliving various acts of bottle episodes ad nauseum.
Despite Moonbase 8’s relatively casual approach to anything resembling narrative progress, Reilly, Armisen, and Heidecker are endlessly observable, even repeating all of the variations from previous performances. Reilly relies on his goofy characterization he worked with Adam McKay memorable, while Armisen continues on his work in “Forever, ”Taking mildness to a surprising extreme. Heidecker, for his part, plays a bit more against the guy, mutes his comic personality and, unlike Reilly and Armisen, portrays something like a bow while he grapples with faith and his cheating wife.
Overall, “Moonbase 8” is calming, but disposable, entertainment. While the finale surprisingly teases a bigger world beyond the desert, season one is a no-hassle hangout. [B-]
“Moonbase 8” premiered on November 8th and will have new episodes weekly.
Showtime recently released the first episode on YouTube: