Flame_Effigy Reviews: Moonbeam City, Lasers and Liars!

Moonbeam City

After a classic Dazzle opening, Moonbeam City veers into what is perhaps the most cartoonish episode yet. Yes, even more-so than the one where Dazzle climbs inside a robotic dolphin and swims through an 80’s music video.

We begin with a scene we’ve come to expect: Pizzaz being upset with Dazzle. But this time she’s reviewing his dash cam from a routine traffic stop. It’s good to know that Dazzle gets out of the station once in a while on his own to do some real policing. The truck in question being stopped belongs to two buxom broads from the business known as “Slutburger”, which sounds like a delightful and sanitary place for the whole family to go eat at. Can you guess what happens next which infuriates Pizzaz so much?

If you guessed that Dazzle causes it to crash into a gas station, resulting in a fiery explosion, you guessed right. This upsets Pizzaz so much because Slutburger was supposed to cater the upcoming Laserball being hosted by, of course, the Laser Society. Dazzle was originally assigned to Laserball security but, as punishment, Pizzaz forbids him from going at all, not like that’s going to stop Dazzle Novak. After she realizes she has no one else to trust with this task, she quickly becomes overwhelmed and strikes Dazzle in the face, an act which visibly shocks herself and everyone around her, and quietly gives Chrysalis the job, after intimidating her greatly just moments before.

This episode also has a simple B-plot spread throughout the episode involving Rad attempting to bluff his way into high society.

If he wasn’t rich how could he afford THIS?

Chrysalis tries her best to keep Dazzle from entering the Laserball, but his mastery of parkour and jumping through windows is more than a match for her simple checklist.

Here’s where Rad’s B-plot really forms. At first I thought that the folks he was talking to were simply screwing with him, which would have been amusing, making him torture himself while he makes an obvious fool of himself, but it went a different route. Rad’s obvious awkward lies did in fact fool the rich patrons of the ball, and continue to fool them until the climax of the episode. Much of his plot simply involves him uncomfortably listing things he has no knowledge of while the rich people around him nod interested, but the segments keep from growing too stale thanks to the lists actually be funny, and by Rad’s small actions during the segments, such as the ever-handy throwing people into the bay.

But it’s in the A-plot where the episode really heads into a strange direction. After breaking into the Laserball, Dazzle falls into the lap of a woman named Panache Miller, which leads immediately into a magenta filled love scene, similar to the pilot episode’s but with a far different ending. Pleased with his success in landing a new woman, Dazzle introduces her to the crew, only for the [not so] dramatic reveal to make itself clear.

Dramatic gasp

After a tense greeting between Panache and Pizzaz,  we learn that Pizzaz is in fact related to Commodore Asimov Miller, the original laser baron, who struck crude laser in the desolate wasteland that was once Moonbeam City. We get the backstory of the entire city here, from its beginnings to its crime ridden present, and it’s quite interesting. Pizzaz walked away from her family to try to fix up the city’s crime, which was a side effect of her family’s greed, while her sisters continued to live a life of excess and decadence.

Unfortunately, her father’s health has declined, and he is prepping to be cryogenically frozen. He doesn’t want to leave his fortune to Panache, or the other sisters. Accoutrement, Charisma, and Sophistica, and with only six hours left before his signing arm is completely frozen, an heir must quickly be chosen. With no choice, Pizzaz returns to her home to try and protect her father from her sister’s vicious plotting to get the family fortune all to themselves.

Her father is in a slightly too small clear coffin of some sort that’s slowly being frozen from toe to head, which I guess is one way to get it done. The little windshield wiper on it made me laugh, but the whole scenario was more strange than funny. Each sister steps in and introduces themselves, each one accompanied by their own unique shadow across their face, some more dramatic than others.

Ah yes, the dreaded dramatic clover.

For the sake of drama, which the family seems to run on, each sister is allowed to speak one at a time in front of a large hanging painting of themselves, all color coded of course.

Meanwhile, Dazzle meets the rest of the Miller husbands, and realizes what a terrible idea it is to be the boytoy of a rich woman like Panache. The other husbands are more of accessories to their powerful wives, and not at all the macho men Dazzle expected.

The women’s argument quickly devolves into a slapping match, in which some absurd revelations come to light, and their father’s frozen body is shattered. The entire family fortune, that has been invested into rare blues records, is left to Pizzaz, but Charisma steals it, racing off to the bay where Rad is still firing off a list.

Like The Strike Visualizer Strikes Again, I feel the ending of this episode was a little rushed, with Dazzle and Pizzaz quickly leaving the estate to put a stop to Charisma, but at least they did leave it, because there wasn’t a whole lot happening there. I’m not sure why their father needed to sign a will , or why a big deal was made about it if he could just leave everything to her so easily, but it leads to Pizzaz and Dazzle saving the day, and delivers an ending to Rad’s plot as well. I didn’t really care for any of Pizzaz’s family, so it won’t bother me if they don’t make another appearance later on in the series.

This episode didn’t focus too much on Dazzle trying to get something done, for once, instead focusing on Pizzaz and Rad. Not a whole lot of strong jokes this time around, but it was amusing enough. The parts with Pizzaz’s family had some funny moments, but in more of a “what is even going on” kind of way than a “that’s a good joke”, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, though.

Lasers and Liars pulls itself  in a B-.

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

 

The Good, The Bad, and The Miscellaneous

Hmm. This episode has a reference to the next one, just like last week. I’ll have to start watching more closely to see if the other episodes did this too.

  • “Looks like someone’s Aunt Flo is back in town. She seems to visit just about every month, actually. Except for a few months after last year’s Cop Con weekend, maybe she was sick…”

The flashback sequence where Commodore Miller grandfather struck laser was positively amazing.

Rad’s increasingly exasperated forced listing of made-up things was a somewhat interesting B-plot, and I suppose it was added in due to either the A-Plot being paper thin, or needing to find some way to include Rad into the episode.

The stinger was what gets advertised in commercials this time around, so it didn’t really spoil any of the episode’s jokes, and as far as I know it didn’t rearrange too much.

The shutter shadows on Pizzaz’s family were just starting to teeter on absurd, especially with the final shadow being in the shape of a clover, but they stopped before it got too overplayed.

Everything to do with Pizzaz’s father I found to be pretty dumb. Freezing himself, the whole will thing, still talking after being shattered. It just didn’t work for me.

Viewers probably caught Kevin McDonald’s voice work in this episode. The casting of him as either Accoutrement OR her husband- good. The casting of him as both?- eh…

Cheapparrito. Muy cheapo!

 

Memorable Lines

I can’t even imagine being poor! I pay someone to imagine it for me.

Everyone lease look over here and be jealous of my incredibly rich, inventive in the sack new girlfriend, Panache. Oh, and this is a a dangerous predator I caught living in the walls of a preschool. Ignore him.

I have no sister. In fact, I have no four sisters!

…and my fabrige cubes…and my dinosaur boners…and my collection of rare blues records.

Uh…Blind Dock Buoyman, Wavy Jack Pierwood, Sneezy Sun…Birdcaw.

These bitches are vicious!

You’re the kind of garbage I usually drive to suicide, by giving their wives the ramming of their dreams.

 

I struck laser!

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