Forrest MacNeil's Review. Is it any good?

I can go on at length about the difference between reviewers and critics. Seriously, don’t get me started.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Thanks for flexing your critical chops on this one Tom. I didn’t think about the comparisons to The Office but I see a resemblance. I think the main difference is that in Review, the main character plays it very straight and is not looking for the “audience’s” affection. The divorce episode was particularly heart wrenching.

I too was hoping that they would end it after one season, but I guess it was a victim of its own popularity, as is often the case. I have watched some of the second season, but I didn’t find it as intriguing.

Thanks again Tom, I give your review of Review, 4 stars.


I will say that I can easily recognize that Review is good, in that it’s really well written and acted and put together with care. I’ll also tell you that I just don’t like it. I tried, really I did. I knew going in I was looking at, for lack of a better word, “cringe comedy.” That’s one thing, and it’s a thing I don’t much care for. But another thing I’m not much big on is watching a character basically self destruct over the course of several seasons, even if it’s done in a humorous fashion, and Review definitely is. I’ll put it this way, Tom - go ahead and watch the latter two seasons and then let us know if your opinion that Forrest MacNeil is a good person is unchanged.

Loved the review, Tom. I really do hope you’ll watch the rest of the show, though. The first season ends on a good stopping point, but the conclusion of the third is really fantastic, and about as perfect a way to end the show as I can imagine.

“This is Review at i[t]s best.”

It’s definitely worth watching through to the end. It’s possibly my favourite complete run comedy ever. But then, I love everything Andy Daly does.

Incidentally, I’m not sure I’d say Forrest is a good person. He’s certainly a terrible husband and son. And while he doesn’t mean harm, his pig-headedness when it comes to the reviews and the impact they have on him and his loved ones is entirely his own doing. Well, his producer doesn’t exactly help.

You absolutely have to see the show through to season 3. I loved the ending.

Well, I just watched all of season two during a long plane trip. And I can safely say, “Umm, what happened there?” It went from smart and absurd to dumb and silly. Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with dumb and silly, but I was expecting smart and absurd. It also lost a lot of its charm and just got mean. I guess there were a few good bits. And I loved seeing Allison Tolman and Lennon Parham show up. I miss Allison Tolman! Sigh.

Of course, I can’t stop now, so I’ll move on to season three next, but at this point, I’m kind of wishing I’d quit at the end of the first season.

The thing about the divorce episode is that it really pained him to hurt someone he loved. The show played that for a really painful moment. But that whole concept turns into schtick in season two! And the clever social commentary went out the window in favor of sitcom humor. A kick in the balls? Really?

How do you know Andy Daly? I only knew of him as the principle in Eastbound and Down. What’s the other stuff he’s known for?


Primarily podcasts. He shows up semi-frequently on improv shows like Comedy Bang Bang! and improv4Humans, and had his own shortlived but absolutely brilliant show, The Andy Daly Podcast Pilot Project. He crops up occasionally on TV, too, eg as the worryingly blithe doctor in Silicon Valley.

Almost all of his characters share the characteristic of a surface chipperness papering over unfathomable desperation or depravity. Which makes him perfect for Forrest MacNeil, of course.

I highly, highly recommend checking out his CBB appearances, especially as Dalton Wilcox. The Oh Golly! episode is remarkable. Also, his Dead Authors Podcast appearance as L Ron Hubbard was so good it had to be a double episode.

Should you see Mother or The Emoji Movie?

Sounds like a great drive-in double-feature!

“Pancakes, Divorce, Pancakes” is one of the best episodes of television I’ve ever seen.

I agree with Tom that Season 1 was pretty much a self-contained show that was really good from beginning to end. Season 2 and 3 got too sad and silly for me. Season 1 had just the right mix and the character did things that crossed the line but were still believable.

I’m hazy on the delineation between season one and the others, it’s kind of a blob to me at this point. So I may be tarring a good season with my impressions of the others. But to me, it just pushes way past awkward to actually hard to watch - virtually everyone thinks the stuff Forrest is doing is a terrible idea, with I guess the exception of his satanic producer (and I did love that guy, I must say).

To borrow Tom’s Job analogy, it’s as if after all his tribulations god said, “Hey thanks for being a sport, Job old pal. Why don’t you head home and take a break.” And Job replied, “Screw that noise, hit me again.”

James Urbaniak! He’s great. Check out Venture Brothers!

James Urbaniak is great in so many things, including Venture Brothers and currently, Difficult People (on Hulu).

I’d say that any dip in the 2nd season is saved by the third and ultimately a fantastic ending to the series.

Andy Daly also released a very enjoyable comedy album, Nine Sweaters, a few years back and created one of my favorite comedy bits ever:

The third season is such a great ending to the show. James Urbaniak is season 3 is so good.

That being said, the pancakes episode in season 1 may be one of my favorite episodes of television ever.

Quick update


Speaking of Andy Daly appearing on podcasts, he’s on the latest Beef and Dairy Network, which you should all be listening to anyway.

Somehow missed this when the news first emerged last month, but The Andy Daly Podcast Pilot Project is officially returning. So excited! Seems like it’s going to be a Stitcher Premium exclusive, alas, but there’s a live show of the August Lindt Travel Bug at Largo in early April.

Prologue is up

Edit: OMG, one of them is going to be L Ron Hubbard. If you haven’t heard Daly’s Dead Authors Podcast episodes as L Ron, they’re absolutely amazing.