Tv Review: The Shivering Truth Season 2 Episode 1 – The Burn Earner Spits

the shivering truth s02e01 indexIf anyone’s made stranger, absurder and all round absolutely fucking crazier television than PFFR then I’d probably collapse in shock upon seeing it as they’ve been responsible for the most surreal Adult Swim shows that’s for sure, and it’s a network that doesn’t exactly hold back on being point blank insane from time to time. The people behind Wonder Showzen, Xavier: Renegade Angel and The Heart She Holler, they debuted this anthology tv series in 2018, and it’s their most unhinged show yet.

But does demented and deranged translate in to being funny? Not always, but when it does jesus it makes me laugh. And that’s the case with this latest instalment of the show, one which comes with a plot that leaps and lurches and then flies off all over the place, and which is backed by PFFR’s quite frankly never less than astonishingly unusual wordplay, a mixture of the satirical and the mock philosophical and the downright messed up.

The episode kicks off with a short tale of how suddenly people’s prayers start coming true, but that causes those who don’t believe to force those who do in to fulfilling their dreams, or as the show puts it “The second someone got Godded they were prayerjacked”, and because PFFR have a routinely bleak view of humanity that means blood and misery is never far away. A self contained tale it’s beautifully twisted and sets up the theme of the episode as being based around religion and humanity’s all round selfishness.

Many a PFFR show has tackled religion but rarely quite so head on as the whole episode revolves around it in one way or another, though mostly it concerns people’s obsession with how other people include God in their lives, with much criticism of the main character as not being religious enough, even when he transcends the material plane and merges harmoniously with the cosmos. And as well as commenting on people’s relationship with God there’s a fair amount of satire of the other great western religion, capitalism and consumerism, with a scene involving a television possessed by the spirit of a dead girl being the bleakest but also the funniest.

Normally in a review I’d spend a paragraph describing the plot but that would spoil the main pleasure of this series as the storyline jumps all over the place, but as with the previous season it’s once again packed with extremely memorable ideas and imagery, with a truly unusual facial outbreak and the final goop covered scenes being the ones I loved the most, but throughout it constantly inspires amazement at their incredible imaginations.

So as mentioned I can’t say this particular episode made me laugh a huge amount but I was never less than consistently impressed by the way their minds work and the ideas on display, it’s a show which takes my breath away on a regular basis and so one I admire a great deal. It’s possible I might find it far funnier on a second viewing too, once I’m not being enormously disturbed (yet delighted) by what’s taking place on screen.

★★★★1/2

Alex Finch.
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Related Links:
You can watch the episode on Adult Swim’s site here.
Our review of The Shivering Truth S01E06 – Foul Flow
Our review of The Shivering Truth S01E05 – Tow and Shell.
Our review of The Shivering Truth S01E04 – Constadeath.
Our review of The Shivering Truth S01E03 – The Magmafying Past.
Our review of The Shivering Truth S01E02 – Ogled Inkings.
Our review of The Shivering Truth S01E01 – The Nurple Rainbow.

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