No matter how many flaws it has, “Delocated” is purely Jon Glaser’s show. For the longest time it was Comedy Central as the network of choice where they take popular stand-up comedians and make them TV stars. As more and more options are available, it’s showing how ineffective they were. Comedy Central made some great shows like “Stella” and “The Benson Interruption” which took things that were already a hit online and then formatted them into their own brand. That led them to be cancelled without a chance to improve.
Now comedians are able to make their original content at places like Adult Swim on Comedy Central like “Delocated” or “Childrens Hospital” where they can be made on a cheap level that the comedians still have full control. On even a cheaper level, podcasts have become such a creative hit that networks are even trying to make podcasts into TV shows. (BBC America has made an awkward version of “The Nerdist” and IFC will film “Comedy Bang Bang” later this spring.)
For some reason “Delocated” Seasons 1 & 2 are being released on DVD now despite airing in 2009 and 2010. Sort of an odd trend going on… This set is to promote a new season that will air this year…sometime. The premise is a fantastic piece of satire. “Jon” and his family are part of the Witness Protection Program after “Jon” betrayed the Russian mob. That’s not stopping “Jon’s” hope for fame! They return to New York City with permanent voice modulators and ski masks to star in their own reality show about their life in the big city!
Everything having to do with that satire works really well, especially when the assassin (Eugene Mirman) trying to kill “Jon” ends up with his own spin-off reality show about trying to be a stand-up comedian while fulfilling his murdering obligations. All of the episodes dealing with the failing marriage or new relationships feel like they’ve been done before. The situation is so clever that they should always keep with that.
“Delocated” is one of the best comedies to make use of their guest stars. Paul Rudd plays himself and is accidently murdered which leads everyone to mourn him by trying to remember all his movies while crying. Josh Hamilton plays “Jon” in the TV movie of “Jon’s” wife’s life. Jerry Minor is Mighty Joe Jon – The Black Blonde. Todd Barry bizarrely plays himself who keeps playing poker with the Russian mob and becomes too involved. The best of the lot was Michael Shannon (“Take Shelter”) proving he needs to do more comedy as a stranger who agrees to impersonate “Jon” after a long talk in a bush.
There should be more laughs per episodes, but almost every episode has one strong earned laugh. The transition from a 10-minute show to a 22 minute show ended up working in its favor as they added more story to their crazy world. This gives Jon Glaser more time to expand the madness and put more absurdist touches like having “Jon” develop multiple personality disorders of offensive stereotypes or wild animals.
It’s not the best comedy on TV, but it’s something wildly original. I hope more comedians get the chance to make something goofy like this because the suburban family sitcoms are really starting to grow stale.
The DVD includes all of Season 1 and 2 as well as deleted scenes, funny outtakes, and some commentaries. What’s weird is that for a show that repeats its premise in a few seconds during its opening credits, nowhere on the box does it say what the show is about or who’s in it. All it has are pictures of “Jon” and his family in their ridiculous ski masks.
Season 1: 3.5 Yaps
Michael Shannon’s few scenes: 5 Yaps
Season 2: 4 Yaps
Extras: 3.5 Yaps
Confusion I felt when they sometimes used the transition tune from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”: 2 Yaps