Saturday, May 2, 2020

What I’m Watching: Dispatches from Elsewhere (Series Finale)

Dispatches from Elsewhere: Season 1, Episode 10 “The Boy” (B)

This was a pretty mesmerizing episode in a lot of ways, but it wasn’t quite the finale that I wanted or needed to resolve this particularly story. I’m not sure how it could have ended that would have been fulfilling or appropriate, but this completely changed and redefined the narrative. We already saw that the whole thing was an illusion, with twin actors auditioning to play Octavio and Commander Fourteen, and now it’s all just a story with Jason Segel appearing as himself. That’s certainly an interesting choice, and I liked the roles that Simone, Fredwynn, and Janice had to play in it. What was most mesmerizing was the content that filled the first half or so of the episode, featuring the exceptional young Travis Burnett as The Boy, who we saw glued to the television and taking it all in, dreaming of the bright future he might have in the business. The producer demanding brand-name chocolate milk instead of the “house blend” was a memorable moment that tapped into this show’s unique weirdness. Where I’m left with some disappointment is in the lack of resolution for the characters we did come to know and any sort of epilogue for them. Segel talking directly to the camera and having it pan out so that the entire crew could be seen before snippets of people talking about being them and being you was an intriguing way to end, though I would have preferred more time down the rabbit hole with this invented fantasy. I’ll still be thinking about this show for a while and its marvelous style, even if its resolution wasn’t completely satisfactory.

Series grade: B+
Season MVP: Eve Lindley as Simone

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