Unexpected Replacement Found-Again Friday: The Critic

I’ve occasionally suspected, but am now convinced, that there’s some deranged Netflix subscriber who only returns old movies after hitting the DVDs with a mallet. So while I await a non-cracked replacement for our originally scheduled Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein, I turn to an old favorite.

Why Found-Again? Ten years ago, I watched this animated show almost constantly. I was out on my own for the first time after my separation from the Future Ex-Husband and badly in need of coping strategies; though I’ve never been sure what “watch The Critic and Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow daily” was supposed to accomplish in this regard, that is certainly what I did for four months straight. The Critic is probably Found-Again because I need it less than I used to, and that is probably a good thing.

The Premise: Jay Sherman (voiced by Jon Lovitz) is a snooty TV film critic and perpetual underdog. His ex-wife can’t stand to look at him. His makeup lady is against him. His adoptive family, except for his sister Margo, treats him like a second-class citizen. His boss, Ted Turner-alike magnate Duke Phillips, wants him to stop giving blockbusters bad reviews. His best friend is a beloved action-movie heartthrob. And his dating life runs the gamut from Misery to Barney the Dinosaur, which you have to admit is an unusual damn gamut.

Some of my favorite episodes:

“Marty’s First Date”—Jay’s son starts out awkward, but ends up… er, smuggling himself to Cuba in a cello case.

Not a great plan.
Not a great plan.

“Miserable”—In which Jay has even worse luck with women than his kid does.

“Dr. Jay”—Jay’s boss Duke is given four years to live and Jay decides to cure him, while having the same sort of luck Jay always has.

“All The Duke’s Men”—if only for this part:

The Verdict: Judging by the way I quote along with it, I’m still very attached to The Critic. Some of the contemporary celebrity/movie jokes the show made are a bit outdated, but surprisingly—depressingly?—few. Smart, funny, and underrated.

The episode "Siskel & Ebert & Jay & Alice" is also good, but these days it tends to make me sad.
The episode “Siskel & Ebert & Jay & Alice” is also good, but these days it tends to make me sad.

Might go well with: Eat a cheesecake. Take a nap. You never know.

J. A.

It reads. It writes. It watches. It researches. It overdoes many of those things!

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