bottom line A wasted opportunity.
Mulligan Begins at the end of the world, Earth has been attacked by a swarm of bug-like green aliens from Cardi-B planet. (Unlike the rapper, the alien insists: “It’s a coincidence!”) But just when all that seems lost, Marty Mulligan (Nat Faxon), a single-A baseball bro from Boston, uses A good – aimed grenade throw. Hailed as a hero, he was soon named the new president of the United States, surrounded by a tight-knit group of advisers.
Most notably Senator Cartwright Lamar (Dana Carvey), Mitch McConnell saw an opportunity in Matty to make himself Matty’s Dick Cheney of Dubya. But then there’s DARPA scientist Farah (Tina Fey), Georgetown history postdoc Simon (Sam Richardson), and former Miss America Lucy (Chrissy Teigen), who becomes Marty’s First Lady. The three see an opportunity in the apocalypse to right the wrongs of the past – but to get the job done, they must overcome Marty idiot-level stupidity and Lamar’s machinations, as well as their own. Lingering hang up. As many hopeless editorials or post-apocalyptic novels typify. LaMarr was a reactionary, long before the attack on novel concepts like “ Jeffersons, female doctors, and [that] phone that lets you press a button and speak Spanish” Withdrawn, it might just be the obvious reserved character, but he’s not the only one who can’t get over his past world. As the saying goes, those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. But in Mulligan, even history nerd Simon just finds new ways to get bullied by athletes or strike out with women, regardless of the fact that the surviving population is two-thirds female. (We’re told that the men either died in an alien fight, or in a jet ski and fireworks accident shortly thereafter.)
Some echoes of the past are even a little clever. As the power grid goes down and traditional news organizations are dismantled, the news cycle becomes a literal one — that is, a man on a bike shouting the latest news to his fellow citizens. However, over the course of the season, what started as a modest act of community service evolved into bread and circus infotainment and eventually a live Bachelor Style reality TV, which is really just a group of people getting together to watch a woman pick between two suitors in real time. It’s more sarcastic in a way I see what you’ve done there than it’s funny in a laugh-out-loud way, but it’s still fun to see how quickly good intentions can go south.
But overwhelmingly Mulligan feels as ambitious as its protagonist, who spends most of his time trying to get from National Treasure . Other shows by Carlock and Means including 30 Rock, Great News
and Girls5eva, breaking away from familiar stereotypes and transforming their characters into unique and concrete eccentrics, and Mulligan are back on about The old trope of Massholes who hates the Yankees or women trying to have it all. Whereas those other shows delight fans with the sheer density of their jokes, Mulligan delivers maybe two decent laughs per episode, and only occasionally crams funny details into its flat , simple background.
Its pop culture references are also surprisingly dated. It is not necessarily wrong to quote Hitch or The Handmaid’s Tale or Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice , it traces exactly to Matty still in Borat in 2016. But when an example of a character’s celebrity song performance backfired is the DNC’s “Fight Song” video from 30 instead of Gal Gadot’s “Imagine” video, Mulligan feels like a script that has been gathering dust on a shelf for the past seven years.
Mulligan has really improved over the seasons, especially when it resigns itself to sillier episodes, like a frenzy The egg hunt is crooked. Axatrax (Phil LaMarr), an alien general held hostage on Earth, usually makes for a laugh, whether he’s frantically plotting to escape or trying to blend in with a Bill Clinton mask. (The camouflage turned out to work, because everyone believed that “Bill Clinton” could be the kind of psycho who stood up and announced things like, “Boy, my penis does hurt, it’s just dangling outside.”) About Farah Robot assistant sideplot TOD-30 (Kevin Michael Richardson) trying to remember his previous life as a man was really just RoboCop, but it is effectively deployed as a counterpoint to the human tendency to think only of ourselves. While Simon isn’t a particularly exciting spin on the geek archetype, Sam Richardson continues to demonstrate a knack for spinning comedic gold from bland straw.
Those flashes of humor or gentle insight come too, but few save Mulligan as a whole. It’s possible, I suppose, to imagine the show returning someday with a tighter pace, sharper jokes, and more memorable characters. But if there’s one thing the series has to show us, it’s that second chances aren’t always what they’re boasted about. The world is always worth saving. Not all TVs are like this.