Oh My Hamster
Life Isn’t Random By Choice
Suck it, Hamster!
Not Angel, Angelus
Under the Wing
From the small sample of Brazilian comedies I’ve watched, the South American style of humour is right up my alley. The Last Hangover was a wonderful example of satirical cleverness and when I saw Netflix had acquired the rights to Nobody’s Looking, an angel-centric story, I remained optimistic that the country could deliver again. With a great blend of comedic quips and strong themes around questioning authority, Nobody’s Looking is an enjoyable, well written comedy that immediately brings you into this after-life based world.
Much like The Good Place and Good Omens before it, Nobody’s Looking begins with an expository-heavy opening episode that explains what’s happening. Ulisses is a brand new angel – the first in hundreds of years infact – and after being inducted into his new role, sets to work in helping various humans on Earth avoid certain doom and disaster. Teaming up with his trusted comrades Greta and Chun, Uli immediately starts to question everything around him, challenging the established hierarchical rules and convincing his fellow angeli to follow suit. Standing in their way however is supervisor Fred, who watches Uli’s every move suspiciously and eventually stamps his authority late in the season.
As Greta begins to lose her wing feathers and Uli becomes romantically involved with a human, what follows is a journey that sees our various characters come together during the finale to learn the truth about their entire operation and one final, shocking twist involving The Boss. I won’t spoil anything of course but suffice to say the show’s big cliffhanger at the end leaves things wide open for a second season and if you’re not prepared for this, it may leave you a little disappointed.
There are a few other unresolved plot threads too, including the future state of Miriam and Uli’s relationship and the Angeli operation itself. With The Good Place ending early next year, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Netflix renew this one in the hope it hits those some notes but right now, the future of the show is left unknown which is a little annoying, especially if you become as invested as me in the characters.
As the episodes progress, so too do the various protagonists and its here that Nobody’s Looking excels. Uli is such a lovable character and seeing him question the established order of things and slowly chip away at the doubts growing in the different Angeli is great to watch. The on-screen expository text early on showing the different rules being broken, along with the reminders of how long Uli has been an angel for, work really well with the tone of the series as well. The supporting cast all do well too, including Fred who continuously threatens Uli with spending all of eternity watching City Of Angels. This hilariously becomes a running joke throughout the series too, with Uli even coming back from a party at one point with a Nicolas Cage mask.
While The Good Place still holds the throne for after-life comedy gold, Nobody’s Looking is a solid offering nonetheless with some surprisingly robust world-building. The first episode does so well to reinforce the rules and ideas of this angel-centric story and has the foresight from there to allow the characters to take the reigns of the show, playing on and breaking these rules in hilarious fashion. Although a few of the middle portion of episodes slot into a bit of a formulaic feel, the latter half of the season picks things back up again, including an amusing penultimate episode that sees Uli revisit all the past humans he’s “helped” over the season.
If you’re in the mood for a light, breezy comedy with some clever writing and decent world-building, Nobody’s Looking is well worth a watch. It’s funny, well-paced and features a lovable central cast of characters easy to root for. While the cliffhanger ending may put some people off from investing time into this one, the ride up until that point is good enough that you should be able to look past this. As far as Brazilian comedies go, I still think The Last Hangover is funnier but in terms of plotting and originality, Nobody’s Looking certainly holds that crown. This is well worth a watch though and an incredibly easy show to binge through.
Verdict - 7.5/10