Things just continue to unravel for Review’s tweedy human punching bag. Last week, Forrest MacNeil lost both his wife and his will to live, and “Celebrity, Batman” saw him lose pretty much everything else. It was all in service of getting the milquetoast host to break bad, which in this case meant becoming the world’s drunkest superhero.
But as great as it is to watch Andy Daly debase himself in a rubber Batsuit, I was glad that his character had regained a bit of his signature cheer at the beginning of the episode. Without MacNeil’s endless reserves of optimism, Review would sink past dark comedy into sheer punishment, resulting in something closer to a Michael Haneke picture. Not to mention MacNeil would have nowhere to fall from each week, depriving the show of much of its grim humor.
Thanks to a straight-up higher joke count, last night’s Review was funnier than other recent entries. Add to that MacNeil’s booze-fueled Christopher Nolan-style reboot, and “Celebrity, Batman” becomes the show’s the strongest episode since the premiere. It also included the show’s best punchline yet, when MacNeil rebuts the accusation that he showed up to a custody hearing “dressed as Batman and covered in his own urine” with the line “It’s not my urine.”
Personally, I think both “Petty Asshole Batman” and “Drunken Rage Batman” have serious potential as feature-length adaptations, but a scene from earlier in the episode better illustrates the sad doughy man at the center of Review. Moments before accidentally presenting a condom to a beautiful starlet, MacNeil proudly states “I have always believed in the power of positive thinking.” Hopefully that will be enough to get him through an entire season of existential abuse.