Monday, May 22, 2017

Pilot Review: Downward Dog

Downward Dog (ABC)
Premiered May 17 at 9:30pm

I knew two things about this show going into it: it was about a millennial and it starred Allison Tolman. The latter excited me very much, since I firmly believe that Tolman was just as good as her far more recognized costars Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman in the first and completely incomparable season of “Fargo,” which happens to air immediately following this show, on a different network. I couldn’t be more disappointed in what Tolman has chosen as a follow-up to her breakout TV role. I thought that “Imaginary Mary,” which unsurprisingly got axed after just nine episodes by ABC, was enough of a cautionary tale that makes an excellent case for not having anyone other than humans speak on TV. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when I realized that Martin the dog was actually the protagonist of this show, not Tolman’s Nan. Having him sound like a millennial, uttering “like” more often than any other word throughout the course of the episode, is a truly infuriating and irritating choice, and it only makes the experience exponentially worse. Nan’s boss being interested solely in French words and nudity is obnoxious as well, and I found nothing salvageable in the entirety of this half-hour. If I liked dogs, I might be slightly more sympathetic, but this show is still completely terrible. I’m eager to forget all about existence since this pilot definitely represents twenty minutes of my life that I will never be able to get back.

How will it work as a series? Well, Martin has concluded that Nan is finally showing an interest in him after he destroyed a whole bunch of things that were important to her, and she has just agreed to work nights and weekends for a year. Those things don’t go together, and so I’m sure we’ll hear many more likes and see plenty more destroyed work by the end of the second episode.
How long will it last? I don’t understand how, but this show somehow has a score of 71 on Metacritic. This was one of the most insufferable series debuts I’ve seen in a while, yet it appears that people actually like it. The show’s ratings weren’t quite as good, and a move to its real timeslot this week will indicate whether this garbage stays on the air or not. I hope not.

Pilot grade: F-

No comments: