Mulaney is a modern take on Seinfield. The former is nowhere near as good as the latter, but Mulaney is far from being another Selfie. Although, that’s not saying much.
In the show, John Mulaney plays a fictional version of himself. The fictional John Mulaney is a struggling standup comic, who lands a job at Lou Cannon’s television show. Cannon (Martin Short) comes off as self-absorbed, but in the end we find out he has a soft spot for Mulaney. Cannon uses Mulaney’s jokes, so Mulaney doesn’t quit.
I love Martin Short’s obviously affected over the top public persona, but he does it all the time and there’s no other character that rivals his hamminess. Making matters worse, (the real) Mulaney either can’t act or is completely uninterested in his own show. As a result, the scenes with Cannon and (the character) Mulaney feel like “The Martin Short Show.” If Short wants to do weekly television, someone should give him his own damn show. Leave Mulaney in the writers room.
Hollywood Game Night combines elements from all of the classic game shows, specifically Password and Body Language, and makes them modern. It may also be the first new game show that allows the viewer to participate at home, which is something that Minute to Win It and The Winner Is lack. Watching people make fools of themselves on television is only fun for so long.
Television is usually a passive experience, but the reason why Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and The Price is Right have been around for over 30 years is because people love to feel like they are participating at home in a way that doesn’t involve consuming large amounts of alcohol. Hollywood Game Night‘s producers understand that. Although, host Jane Lynch did recommend a Hollywood Game Night drinking game five minutes into the show; it was tongue in cheek.