Disenchantment is the latest creation from The Simpsons and Futurama head honcho Matt Groening.
Set in Medieval times, in a fantasy kingdom called Dreamland, it centres around Tiabeanie – aka Bean (Abbi Jacobson), a hard-drinking Princess, who we first meet when she’s cheating at poker in the local pub. That’s the sort of thing she enjoys, but life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and, for her, her father, King Zøg (John DiMaggio), tells her she has to get married, but doesn’t want to…
With a stepmother, Queen Oona (Tress MacNeille), who eats flies, life can be bizarre at times, but if you watched a number of episodes of Futurama, you’ll be in familiar territory. That show also had a very random set of main characters, and it’s not long before Bean is joined by a happy Elf, Elfo (Nat Faxon) – who craves the normality of life we’re all sick and tired of, as well as the fact he’d rather fight a war than be part of a utopian, happy society; plus Bean has her own personal demon, Luci (Eric Andre).
At this point, I’ve only had chance to watch the first two episodes, which gives a flavour of it, and I can see how one episode is intended to flow into the next, but on the basis of this, there’s a few gags, but nothing that’s made me laugh out loud, nor really making me look forward to watching more.
It has more in common with Futurama than The Simpsons, in terms of its style, and a fair few well-known names, with the one that stood out most being Matt Berry as Prince Merkimer. I never got into The Mighty Boosh, which also features this show’s Noel Fielding, but I remember him best from Vic & Bob’s House of Fools and Toast of London. I like him, but he just seems out of place in a show like this.
Watching the second episode, this really wasn’t working for me. I get the idea of what they think is meant to be funny, but whereas the first episode wasn’t making me laugh loud, the second was only making me slightly laugh on the inside.
Amongst those first two excursions to Dreamland, the only ones that made me laugh noticeable came from the Elf’s homeland when Elfo’s girlfriend tells him, “Your whining is really turning me on”, to which he replies: “There’s plenty more where that came from(!)”
Disenchantment has already been comissioned for a second season, and while I’ve not been won over by these first two episodes, I will stick with it as I hear it gets better.
Of course, now I’m bound to get someone moaning, “How can you call this a review when you’ve only looked at the first two episodes?”
Well, remember when TV shows used to air weekly, every time? When ten episodes are made available to stream at once (even though only seven were available for preview – and I’m not sure why), real life gets in the way and stops you being able to simply drop everything. If you want to give me more time to complete this quicker, go stick a ton of money in my Patreon account and that’ll sort me out.
UPDATE: I’ve now seen episode 3. Didn’t laugh once.
Disenchantment isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but is available on Netflix from tomorrow – Friday, August 17th.
Running 10 episodes, from 25-35 minutes each
Released: August 17th 2018
Episode 1: 3/10
Episode 2: 2/10
Episode 3: 0/10
Director: Frank Marino
Producer: Lee Supercinski
Writers: Matt Groening, Reid Harrison
Music: Mark Mothersbaugh
Princess Tiabeanie (Bean): Abbi Jacobson
Elfo: Nat Faxon
Luci, Pendergast: Eric Andre
King Zøg: John DiMaggio
Sorcerio, the Jester, Mertz, and Pops the Elf: Billy West
Odval: Maurice LaMarche
Queen Oona, Prince Derek, and the Fairy: Tress MacNeille
The Herald, Guysbert, and Jerry: David Herman
Prince Merkimer: Matt Berry
Kissy the Elf: Jeny Batten
Cloyd, Turbish: Rich Fulcher
Stan the Executioner: Noel Fielding
Bunty and the Enchantress: Lucy Montgomery
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.