Flame Effigy Reviews: Moonbeam City, Lights! Camera! Reenactment!

Moonbeam City

After Moonbeam City‘s enjoyable pilot episode , I was excited for the second. After all, the true test of comedy is staying power. Can it remain funny over time? Is its premise sustainable? Check and probably check. This episode, continues a theme presented in the first episode, and makes it seem like said theme will be the recurring jumping off point for each episode’s plot. That theme being– Dazzle gets a random idea in his head, and by god, he’s gonna see it to through to the end. Even if it kills everyone around him, which it probably will.

Dazzle’s got a nice job, which he is very clearly in no way qualified for, and that he seemingly doesn’t want to do, so it’s no wonder he takes every opportunity he can to shirk his duties and explore the wonderland of his imagination, and Moonbeam City. He’s basically the lovable idiot man-child with no responsibilities and whose actions have no real consequences for himself that we all wish we could be. Also he’s got a pretty sharp outfit, which I assume got him the job in the first place.

Pictured: High fashion.

Our episode begins with Dazzle spinning some dirty beats at a rave. A children’s rave. The 8th annual children’s rave. Chrysalis, our voice of reason and view stand-in for Dazzle’s insanity, of course questions why oh why would the city spend their money to sponsor a children’s rave. Not wanting to party hard with a bunch of toddlers, Chrysalis escapes the juvenile pool of probable crime breakers by dipping out into the alleyway, where a boy is stealing a bike. Chrysalis quickly calls for Dazzle to apprehend this dastardly criminal, which he does, but only because he needed to get some air after psyching himself out and harshing his mellow.

Watching from the shadows was trenchcoated former police sergeant and host of Crime Zappers, Vex Mullory. He was so impressed with Dazzle Novak’s good police work that he wanted to make him the star of the upcoming episode of  the dramatic reenactment show, and with the entire police force watching Crime Zappers each week, Dazzle getting on their beloved show is a huge deal. Of course, Dazzle’s archnemesis and King Dick of Ass Forest, Rad Cunningham, immediately plots against Dazzle Novak.

It’s a hard job, but someone’s gotta do it.

Turns out that Dazzle isn’t so pleased either at CrimeZappers, due to the micro budgeted Crime Zappers not properly reflecting his delusions of what really happened. Well if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself. Dazzle goes to Pizzaz to try to get her to fund his artistic vision, which she goes along with  in an attempt to curb the rising juvenile delinquency that Dazzle inadvertently gave rise to through the mandatory children’s raves.

Unfortunately, Dazzle’s production puts his crew into quintuple platinum overtime, and likely killed more than a few stunt doubles in the process. Chrysalis decides that she wants no more part of it, and Pizzaz follows suit, cutting his disastrous project’s funding. Good thing Dazzle has some shady connections with a war mongering movie producer named Zephyr, allowing him to get $30 million dollars in finances as long as he shoots it in the war-torn Krakmoonistan and has Zephyr’s step-son Hudson play the role of Dazzle Novak. I do wonder if more seedy connections will be revealed over the course of the season. Dazzle seems like the kind of guy that owes a lot of people favors.

It’s like looking in a mirror.

The desert sun, and apparently fattening desert foods quickly get to Dazzle, growing him to a bloated and bearded husk of a man who  could actually now be reasonably portrayed by Hudson, costing many more crew members their lives in the process. It finally gets too out of hand for even Dazzle to control when Zephyr is crushed in a poorly thought out stunt, and his militant crew revolts and begins to battle the rebels, having no need to continue to work for Dazzle now that their cash stream has been halted.

Back at the station, right in time for their weekly Crime Zapper’s viewing, Dazzle arrives to present his artistic masterpiece, cut down immensely from its original 258 minutes of graphic full frontal nudity. It is not met with enthusiasm. But Dazzle’s reenactment wasn’t the only sequence in this episode. Another member of the force has his own segment ready to show. A tackily dressed member of the force. When Rad’s ridiculous musical reenactment, produced by Pizzaz, is actually met with applause and delight, Dazzle’s world crumbles around him. Dejected and not wanting to be reminded of his failure, he moves on to a new job at a woman’s shoe store, but even that is not far enough away to escape the reach of Rad. But when Dazzle goes to the local liquor store to get himself some beer and salty snacks, he successfully stops the hoodlums Rad claimed to have stopped, and learns from the store owner what really happened, which gives him all he needs to return to the force, just in time for Crime Zappers, and just in time for everything to return back to the status quo.

Another solid episode from a definitely watchable show. B+

While too early in the show’s run to expect continuity and callbacks to previous episodes, I hope the show can later introduce such things.

Catch Moonbeam City Wednesday nights on Comedy Central, right after South Park.

The Good, The Bad, and the Miscellaneous

All the rave sequences were really pretty, and Dazzle had some great facial reactions to the events around him.

Why was Dazzle’s stunt double Will Arnett? I’m like 95% sure that was supposed to be Will Arnett.

I wonder what the rest of the police force does while Dazzle is out screwing around.

Some good background signs in this episode. Cheapparrito. Muy cheapo!

Rad’s Crime Zappers reenactment was hilarious. That cut to him casually strolling behind the fleeing thief gets me every time.

Vex Mullory’s puns in this episode were wonderfully cheesy and all his lines are delivered perfectly.

Rad has a rat tail. That’s some low fashion right there.

I don’t remember Pizzaz having a cigar in the pilot episode, but she sure has one a lot in this episode, and it’s funny for some reason.

I can 100% picture Dazzle sitting in his workshop tirelessly making mock-up action figures of his “adventures”

Looks like Pizzaz’s dramatic shutter shadows are going to be a running gag. I’m fine with that.

Rad’s extended crying sequence about getting poop in his mouth went from funny, to not funny, right back to funny again. It’s the kind of thing Family Guy always seems to try and then fails at. Not that I’m comparing this to Family Guy.

Rad kicking Dazzle with his sensible lady’s pump was a good scene. He’s just such a pathetic and petty character.

Memorable lines

Did you get my fan letters? Or my death threats after you didn’t respond to my fan letters!?

But if you screw this up, you’ll work in this town again….in a worse job.

Get out, and may your ugly bloodline die with you!

What do I have to do to get on Crime Zappers? Zap an actual crime or something?

Okay, cut…all the acting that is happening for a moment, and the machines from recording anything here now.

Dazzle! I trust this production is swimming along swimmingly?

I want someone to get this dead child off my set immediately. Thank you. Big smiles everybody! Why aren’t we shooting?

But first let’s take a quiet moment to mourn the sixteen crew members and two editors who died during our production. May their ghosts haunt this reenactment, but in a good way. Like, people watch it again to see if they can see the ghosts. And to their widows I say…drop your frivolous lawsuit you vicious enemies of art!

Want a beer? I don’t drink them. I just like opening them.

Oh that Dazzle, what a scamp.

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