I've watched the first two episodes of Disenchantment, Matt Groening's new series for NetFlix, and maybe it's too early to really pass judgement but so far I'd describe it as "adequate". I think I'd like it more if it weren't so much of a comedy. The backgrounds are genuinely pretty and I'm a sucker for that Fantasy Land aesthetic.
But the story itself is the usual pile on of ultra ironic joke after another, which I don't necessarily hate but there's not enough ingenuity or insight here to get it on its feet. It made me kind of wish I were watching The Princess Bride or Slayers. I was reminded of the bits of new Simpsons episodes I catch now and then, it's kind of the same humour with a little bit of the genre commentary reminiscent of Futurama, particularly in the second episode written by Futurama co-creator David X. Cohen. I do like the shop signs; my favourite is probably "Onion Julius".
Over the course of its long history, The Simpsons went from being a comedy where the premise is essentially, "Isn't it funny how people are like this?" to, "Wouldn't it be funny if people were like this?" There's a lot more heart in the former, of course, but the latter is quicker and easier, particularly, I suspect, if you've been rich and far away from the typical domestic situation for a long time. But the more human stuff like Bart trying to find a way to apologise to Lisa for destroying her Thanksgiving decoration or Flanders' positive attitude being tested by a run of bad luck hit the border between realism and absurd in a very satisfying way. It used to be what distinguished Groening's series from South Park and Family Guy. The story about a princess running from her obligations in an arranged marriage is more a joke about a type of plot than it is about people.
I kind of like the demon voiced by Eric Andre who's always trying to lead Princess Bean (Abbi Jacobson) astray but he's a pale shadow of Bender's gleeful amorality. But I'll try a few more episodes and see what happens.
Twitter Sonnet #1147
A violet crowd proceeds above the green.
A swaying leaf detached and joined a wing.
Continued parties drink about the scene.
The sleepy social drifts into a ring.
Defensive cards array about the soul.
A garden grew between the seasoned bread.
The angels came and broke leaden the roll.
Commencing plans were ironed in a head.
The winning Skittle skipped beyond the bag.
A sea of sugar stopped along the shore.
A million prices clutter up the tag.
Balloons were water down inside the core.
A perfect forest held the story long.
Equations built the radish fact'ry wrong.