Tv Review: The Shivering Truth – Fowl Flow

All too soon we’re sadly at the end of a rather short series, it’s understandable given how long stop motion animation takes and the intricacies of the characters and locations must have been incredibly complex to create, but it’s still a shame and I only hope Adult Swim recommission it so that we get a second series in 2019. Even though this final episode doesn’t go out with a bang and rather a series of squelching noises instead.

That said it is equally as fascinating as the other episodes but it only made me laugh a couple of times. Conceptually there’s a huge amount going on and though it’s constantly inventive it’s relentless weirdness is a bit overwhelming, which is perhaps due to the fact that I’ve watched the series in a very short amount of time and it might not be as noticeable if you view the series when it airs each week on Adult Swim. But a few funnier moments would have been definitely appreciated in amongst all of the madness.

It starts off in a bleak bar, the kind where people go to drink alone and drown their sorrows, when a man enters attempting to sell a human hand. Only one customer is interested and he only wants two fingers, which the man exchanges for a drink, but he makes a mistake when he asks what the customer wants with them and the next thing we see is the man’s corpse in snow and the two fingers sticking out of his eyes. Then the main narrative kicks in as we’re introduced to Violet Galloway, whose insecurity takes human(ish) form and even though it’s abusive she still appreciates the attention it gives her, until she meets a man with the same affliction and both insecurity creatures make out and rush off, and soon are seen with a baby. Missing her insecurity she seeks help from the medical profession and grows so many beauty marks that they overwhelm her face. Despite looking horrific everyone is captivated by her supposed beauty, but when she seeks out the one man she loves the sight of her causes his tongue to expand all over the table and floor and he eventually chokes to death. It’s engrossing for sure but bar the moment where a slam poet screams in to the sliced open chest of the woman it’s not actually that funny.

After the above we briefly we return to the customer from the first part who’s struggling with the insignificance of humanity and so sucks out the stars in the sky via his telescope and takes them to the bar to buy a beer. It seems a little pointless initially but as they return to the character towards the end it’s inclusion does make sense. But first we get to see more of the two creatures made out of insecurity, who are pettily arguing until the male starts spurting a delicious sauce out of his hand but this only leads to more fighting (“Mother was right about you, all you ever do is sit on your arse gushing sauce out of your hand” being my favourite line of the episode) and then death and misery. At least until the woman covered with beauty spots tracks the creature down and feeds the spots to the insecure beast, and that causes him to emits shining lights which the customer also steals and then ejaculates all over the sky. I wish I could say I enjoyed the end sequence but jizzing all over the place is nothing new for PFFR, and for an ending to the episode and the season I wanted something a little more original from them.

As always there’s imagery you’ll never see anywhere else which is utterly captivating, and the unique dialogue and narration keeps you involved, but the themes (how to keep a marriage alive, insecurity, failing relationships and loneliness) have been covered before in the series and in more interesting ways. This review is perhaps more negative than the episode deserves and if I’d only seen this one and none of the others I’d have rated it far more highly, but I have great expectations from PFFR and for once they didn’t quite deliver. Despite this I still can’t wait for the show to return, and I just hope this slightly disappointing effort was a one off.

Alex Finch.

Related Links:
You can watch the episode on Adult Swim’s site here.
Our review of The Shivering Truth – Tow and Shell.
Our review of The Shivering Truth – Constadeath.
Our review of The Shivering Truth – The Magmafying Past.
Our review of The Shivering Truth – Ogled Inkings.
Our review of The Shivering Truth – The Nurple Rainbow.

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