The first impressions from episode one do not guide us to land at a genre for ‘God’s Favorite Idiot’. The new Netflix series created by and starring Ben Falcone and his wife Melissa McCarthy in lead roles was released yesterday and there are 8 episodes in total. The only vague details that become clear from the season premiere is that Falcone’s Clark is struck by lightning emanating from a strange cloud above his house. The changes we notice include an eerie glow and Harry Styles’ Sign of the Times playing in the background. Right now, the possibilities that can happen within the plot are endless. ‘God’s Favorite Idiot’ does not have a direction yet in terms of storytelling. Hopefully, the coming episodes will give more light.
A beautiful drone shot captures the symmetrical city as episode 1 of God’s Favorite Idiot starts. We catch a strange light glowing against the backdrop of a cloud, dangerously close to the roof of a house. It zeroes in on Clark, a single man living with his two cats. He goes outside, searching for the other one when suddenly, a bolt of lightning hits him. He falls to the ground and the cloud dissipates. A small outcome is that when he leaves for work, red traffic lights suddenly turn green as they see him coming. Harry Styles’ Sign of the Times strangely plays on any electronic device near him.
Through the crowded streets, we see Amily emerge on her makeshift bicycle-scooter. Clad in a red polka-dot pantsuit, she storms into the break room of the office. Moshin, Tom, and Wendy all listen to Amily’s amazing story that she prefaces with the consumption of recreational drugs before the actual event. The other day, when she comes in late at night into work, she notices Clark sitting at his computer and “glowing”. His glow is in quite literal terms. The description is met with skepticism and brushed off by the group.
The next few minutes introduce us to Frisbee, the management in the office, a.k.a., the boss. They also bring teasing discussions about Clark, revealing that he had once tried to ask out Amily but wasn’t confident enough to do so. Wendy notices the glow too, while Clark works at the computer. He finally asks Amily out to dinner. The feeling seems mutual and they share a warm conversation. The climax at the restaurant sees the two having dinner, and suddenly, out of nowhere, Clark starts glowing.
This happens right in the middle of the public eye. People start taking videos of him. Some also gasp in horror and start running. He then turns back into normal. But the seeds have already been sown. Amily wasn’t influenced by drugs when she saw it and now the world has seen it too.
The Episode Review
If there were more expectations from the premiere, then they have been well defeated. Episode one of ‘God’s Favorite Idiot’ is lackluster at best. We do not see a lot of action owing to the fact that it serves as a base for the season. But that is no excuse for not giving anything to the audience worth watching. With the kind of talent attached to the project, expecting some decent writing is a given. But even that is surprisingly missing here.
It is so dull and derivative that even the actors seem uninspired by it. A rambling McCarthy lacks the impact to save the series from the clutches of its shortcomings off camera.
A lot of work is to be done to get it back on track and in shape. Creators must realize that making the premise of the show clear to the audience in the first instance is the least they’re expected to do. Here is hoping that episode two has more bite and quality.