So yeah, kinda sick of superheroes. Especially the overly silly reboots where they deal with normal life issues. Surprisingly M.O.D.O.K isn’t that. He’s a villian dealing with villian problems. Even the everyday people in this world deal with the kind of junk you would expect to be outlandish and jarring with a dismissive handwave. Here they are like, “No no, no more Cosmic Cubes, no time travel shenanigans, I just want to go out tonight.” I find the delivery to be natural. The show leans into a healthy blend of slice of life and superhero making sure they complement each other. It gives me strong Bojack Horseman vibes in that regard. Making the absurd and surreal elements seem boring and mundane to the inhabitants. A feat Harley Quinn the Series never manages to do.
Typically shows like this try to make a silly show in a serious world. M.O.D.O.K. though just makes the silliness go out to all parts equally. Not in a mockish way, it’s satire comes from the constant subversion of expectations. The writers know when to dial it back to more Marvel Comics standards. Likewise they are just as likely to double down to make something almost painfully commonplace. Clocking in with a ten episode first season the series does a great job establishing itself. Staying aware of the fact Modok himself is relatively unknown to the casual fan they focus on the Marvel Cinematic Universe a fair bit to ease in the audience. That’s not to say they won’t do a comic book deep cut. Ones like the restaurant Fing Fang Farm to Table. A fine dining establishment that is run by everyone’s favorite dragon.
The most impressive feat the show pulls off is comic book pacing. In the ten episodes it brings two larger story arcs to completion. Yet some how staying fairly episodic. A trend I am noticing more and more with direct to streaming shows. It has top notch production value, but it doesn’t have to adhere to some brand safety standards that different channels place on time slots. The show knows what it is and never goes for more. Focusing on the egotism and self-centered manner a villian like Modok would naturally go about his life. His family, his job, and everything else around him are just a means to an end. Now that’s not my usual reading to much into things. It’s a larger overarching story element to season one. Defeating his past and coming to terms with the future all playing out in an incredibly Marvel Comics way. Refreshing and funny yet short enough for a weekend I can’t recommend this show enough. Especially if you can grab a few friends and all get in on it. The show rightfully has an early Adult Swim feel to it. As a good amount of Robot Chicken’s staff was involved here if my memory serves me. That’s what made the old shows so great. Hanging out with friends, grabbing some fast food, and just having fun. We can finally start comfortably getting together again so how about you make some new memories. That or just make yourself a child party lasagna topped with seasame chicken and some soy sauce then settle in by yourself.