Rupert Grint has always been unfairly picked on as the one out of the main Harry Potter trio who wasn’t a great actor, and though he perhaps hasn’t been troubling the Oscars award ceremonies since those films ended I’ve always thought he’s a pretty strong comedic actor. Super Clyde backs that up too, as Grint plays a geeky rich bastard in another high concept series from My Name Is Earl creator Greg Garcia where the lead character spends his life trying to do good.
It’s not an exact copy of My Name Is Earl however, as it sees Grint and his brother Duke (Tucker and Dale Vs Evil’s Tyler Labine) and sister Faith (Succession star Justine Lupe) orphaned when very young, and only briefly adopted by their rich Uncle Bill who quickly drops dead and leaves all his money to a charity which fights blindness in low income felines (leading to a very funny shot of a leaflet with a cat wearing glasses on it). He at least lets them stay in his house and there’s an allowance for food, until fifteen years later and in a shock twist it turns out he did leave them the money after all, and that he just wanted the kids to make their way in the world first, at the expense of those poor blind cat bastards.
Despite what he may have thought Clyde didn’t really know his Uncle either, as it’s revealed that Bill got his kicks by doing acts of kindness, leaving a wallet full of money around town and if it was returned with all the cash in it he rewarded the people on the sly. Which is an idea Clyde loves, and so he decides to continue his Uncle’s work, thinking of himself of being like a superhero for doing such a thing. In the first episode it’s a fairly simple exercise where he helps a poor woman by buying her a car, but presumably in future episodes doing good would become increasingly more convoluted.
Clyde’s siblings are also dealing with their sudden windfall in amusing ways, Duke is hiring sexy women to do the hoola hoop in front of him for a week (a joke which isn’t that great and comes across as slightly creepy, but then has a great callback featuring Charlie Chaplin later on in the episode so I’ll let is slide this one time)and Faith has liposuction and then spends her money torturing the people who used to bully her, so both characters showed a lot of promise as well.
The final other main character is Stephen Fry’s butler Randolph, who is absent for a large part of the episode but turns up towards the end in a bit which suggests he’d have been a major aspect of the show. Fry has tried to break the US market a couple of times in the last decade, most recently in the awful Joel McHale vehicle The Great Indoors, and it’s a real shame that that was given a series rather than this as this is much more inventive and had a lot of potential, something that no one said about The Great Indoors, not even the person who created it (probably).
As well as the aspect of Clyde thinking he’s all kinds of heroic the show presented some aspects in the form of comic book panels, and in one scene we see thought and speech bubbles, so visually this was a little more different to your standard sitcom too. It also had a nicely absurd streak, with Randolph presenting his hand with eyes and lipstick on it and pretending it’s the character “Dr Giggles” so that Cylde can talk about his problems, and Faith’s revenge is inspired stuff as well.
So all in all this is definitely a case of a show which should have been given a series, indeed after it wasn’t picked up Garcia made a second version of the pilot in 2015 with Charlie McDermott (Axl from The Middle), Diane Guerrero (currently being amazing as Crazy Jane in Doom Patrol) and Annaleigh Ashford (Masters Of Sex but sadly that hasn’t leaked online so it’s impossible to know if it’s better or not. It’d be surprising if it was though as in this version of the pilot the cast are superb, the storyline’s really fun and the humour very sharp indeed.
You can watch the pilot on Vimeo here.