Tv Review: Corporate Season 2 Episode 1

corporate s02e01 indexMatt (Matt Ingebretson) and Jake (Jake Weisman) are back for another season of this dark satire which tears in to corporate life. Once again they’re stuck together in a small office, mostly ignored by those in power unless something unpleasant had to be done. Normally it’s a show that has a fairly bleak outlook on life, but for the beginning of the season we discover that love is in the air for the employees of Hampton DeVille, and could they possibly find happiness this year?

Initially it looks like John (Adam Lustick) has at least, as it’s revealed that over the weekend he’s gotten married and he can’t wait to show off his ring and fall in to part of the boys club who either brag or moan about their wives in a horrendously misogynistic way. He ditches former friend / sex partner Kate (Anne Dudek) and acts like the big cheese, even interrupting head of the company Christian DeVille (Lance Reddick) and his announcement that he’s bought the news network BNN to ramble on about his marriage.

Matt also believes he’s in love, with a fellow employee called Laura, sure he may not have ever spoken to her but he’s convinced that they’re meant to be, even though she’s leaving the company and new employee Jessica seems to be his perfect match. Jake bets him that he’ll fall for Jessica and he does everything in his power to prevent this, but inevitably fails, at least until he discovers something incredibly slightly annoying about her and is joyous that he’s won the bet, even if it does mean he’ll remain single and alone. The whole plotline drips with irony, but it’s irony that Matt’s completely unaware of.

There’s even a romantic subplot for Christian DeVille, and Lance Reddick, best known for serious dramas like Fringe, Oz and The Wire, is stunning as the almost sociopathic boss who is surprised to develop feelings for a journalist at BNN. In both of the above subplots there’s some fun fantasy sequences, beautifully sharp dialogue and though it’s not initially the series at it’s best the second half of the episode delivers it’s trademark cynicism with aplomb. John is put in his place by Kate for when he suggests she might still have feelings for him she hits back with “John, how do I put this harshly? The moment your penis left my body it was as if it had never been there” and after telling a long, twisted joke about marriage Christian shows him what happens if he ever dares to interrupt one of his speeches.

So no, happiness is not found, and any that was previously held is crushed. Which is par for the course for Corporate, and it’s what makes it so unique. There’s hundreds of bland, happy go lucky sitcoms out there but Corporate is one of the few where it’s characters are narcissistic, self-obsessed and often cruel, and the writers create a lot of truly funny moments out of their pathetic ways which the stellar cast sell the hell out of, and it all makes the show a joy to watch.

Alex Finch.

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