It’s the fourth time in a day!
Melissa McCarthy’s popularity among Netflix subscribers is evidenced by the success of a new show starring the actress, which premiered this week. On the first day of its release, the new sitcom-fantasy-farce hybrid series soared to number one.
God’s Favorite Idiot ranked No. 4 on Netflix’s Top 10 TV Shows in the United States Today list, which was released on Wednesday, June 15. (Stranger Things 4, All American and First Kill sit ahead of it, in that order).
Netflix appears to have a new hit on its hands with this eight-episode series. With McCarthy’s star power and a plot that can support numerous seasons, this show has a lot going for it. There’s only one issue, which we’ll discuss in more detail later.
What is God’s Favorite Idiot?
In the series God’s Favorite Idiot, Ben Falcone (McCarthy’s husband) plays Clark Thompson, a man who is hit by lightning and becomes an avatar of God. Because he appears to have been in the wrong place at the wrong moment, he ended up in this predicament. After he’s struck by lightning, the environment begins to respond to his movements in a more or less natural way. The gods are clearly on his side, as seen by this. However, he has no idea what he’s doing.
Meanwhile, Amily Luck (McCarthy), his girlfriend, is an office worker with a shady past. How bad is it? In the first five minutes of the program, she mentions that she unintentionally roofied herself. As soon as they are reunited, Amily realizes that something strange is happening before Ben does (because he is shining) and that a deity (perhaps the god) is involved.
When Clark learns that he must be God’s agent of change in order to avert the apocalypse, you can imagine what his reaction is.
What do the critics think of God’s Favorite Idiot?
Unfortunately, and this is something we wish didn’t happen as often as it does, critics aren’t all that impressed by this popular Netflix original series. Netflix may have seen this coming, as the show “launched without ever having been made available to critics in advance,” according to Daniel D’Addario, writing for Variety. The fact that God’s Favorite Idiot only has five reviews on Rotten Tomatoes(opens in new tab), where it has a 40% rating, is never a good omen.
Also, D’Addario points out that God’s Favorite Idiot is the newest of McCarthy’s other half of her oeuvre, which includes “an escalatingly terrible sequence of movies directed by her husband Ben Falcone, including The Boss, Life of the Party, and Superintelligence.” “What a waste of time in the career of a gifted performer whose fans will follow her wherever she goes, and who rewards them with so little of what she can do,” D’Addario writes about the show.
ReadySetCut’s Daniel Hart(opens in new tab) adds his voice to the chorus of critics, writing “God’s Favorite Idiot is a little too casual for its own good, in my opinion. Throughout each episode, Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy appear to be picking up the tab and making the most of their sidekicks. This universe lacks depth and emotional rationale, making it impossible to be genuinely invested in it.”
There is, however, a silver lining. This apocalyptic hijinks are elevated to a higher plane because to “authentic chemistry between the actor and her co-star husband,” says Lucy Mangan in The Guardian(opens in new tab). Don’t be fooled into thinking she’s a huge fan of this product based on her three-star rating.
Analysis: Should you watch God’s Favorite Idiot tonight?
If they haven’t already, fans of McCarthys (on which Netflix is certainly counting) are likely to tune in. Even though she’s not breaking any new ground here, this show appears to be a conventional wacky sitcom that will be devoured by anyone looking for a quick fix of eight half-hour episodes.
Having stated that, I will not be one of them. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get into this show after I started watching it this morning. I am usually on the lookout for new shows to watch. However, it may serve as a decent “laundry-folding” television. Our best Netflix series list will not include this one.