Episode 1 -| Review Score – 1/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 1.5/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 1.5/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 1.5/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 1.5/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
A different kind of secret society
There are a lot of secret societies in the world, or so Jeremy Irons purports in the narration of Mike Myer’s Netflix series, The Pentaverate. And what is it that makes the Pentaverate so different from these other organizations? Well, “They’re nice!”
Myers takes on several roles for this comedy miniseries, the most prominent being the Canadian journalist Ken Scarborough. When Ken faces losing his job as a reporter, he has to get his hands on a huge story. This leads Ken and his coworker Reilly Clinton (Lydia West) to follow conspiracy theorist Anthony Lansdowne (also Myers) to The Pentaverate Headquarters in New York.
The secret society of five men supposedly has the world’s best interests at heart. But something sinister brews within the ranks of the powerful leaders, and it’s up to Ken to stop it.
An overstuffed ‘comedy’
Originally conceived by Myers as a movie (and obviously so), The Pentaverate stretches itself out to fill its six episodes with a wacky plot that doesn’t quite pull itself together until the finale. Overstuffed with info dumps and cheap gags, the series devotes little time to exploring its characters. As such, we never get attached to them–and the clumsy social critique isn’t nearly clever enough to make up for that loss.
Ken, for example, has the potential to be an interesting character. He obviously wrestles with doing what’s right, but in the most surface level way the show can explore this tension. And though West is charming as Reilly and Myers is lively, to say the least, in his many roles–there’s not much opportunity for the cast as a whole to shine. The blanketed comedic style either overshadows or completely snuffs out any individual talents actors might have brought to the show.
By the end of the miniseries, The Pentaverate provides some somewhat interesting social commentary about the corrupt nature of powerful organizations and the lack of diversity within them. But it never reaches beyond simple statements, expecting its comedy to do the heavy lifting of fleshing out the show’s drama.
As it turns out, absurd humor falls flat when its only purpose is for the sake of absurdity. This convention is only made worse by The Pentaverate’s tawdry habit of making a lackluster joke and then proceeding to acknowledge it.
As much fun as ludicrous costumes and farcical characters can be, these comedic aspects fail to elevate the overarching story. They are instead expected to carry the entirety of the show in between scarce, poorly-planned plot points.
Mike Myers and Netflix are a losing pair
Except for the most avid of Mike Myers fans, we can’t recommend Netflix’s The Pentaverate. While the comedy miniseries results in a valuable message, it’s a clumsy journey in getting there.
Verdict - 2.5/10