Tv Review: Corporate Season 3 Episode 1

corporate s3e1 indexCorporate has been one of the most vicious satires of capitalism, consumerism, corporations and probably other things beginning with C that I’ve ever seen, but now it’s coming to an end with its third and final season, though that’s supposedly a choice made by the creators rather than the network so I shan’t be destroying Comedy Central and all those involved in the decision just this once.

This latest episode sees the writers (with Pat Bishop, Matt Ingebretson credited for this) attack television, and streaming services in general, and lordy is it glorious. It’s one of the more absurd episodes but also one of the funniest as the main plot line sees CEO Christian DeVille (Lance Reddick) frustrated at the failure of the corporation’s streaming service but just as he’s in the middle of one of his angriest speeches (which is saying something) he’s distracted by the fact that the finale of a sci-fi show called Society is airing that night.

Everyone bar Jake (Jake Weisman) is seemingly obsessed with the show, so when it ends in a disappointing manner Christian does the sensible thing and buys the rights to the series so that they can make a new finale, even if that does mean everyone losing their health insurance and thirty percent of the company is laid off. Which everyone supports, because boy do we love to worship television in this strange old day and age, and the show has a lot of fun with that idea and how television is all too often considered to be pretty much more important than anything else, hell due to their buying the show John (Adam Lustick) even heard from his racist parents and they hadn’t phoned since 9/11.

Meanwhile Jake had his own subplot as after babysitting his niece he became aware of the show Pickles For Breakfast, a brightly lit animation that is naturally horrible, albeit one which makes his niece desperate for pickles and when Jake refuses she quotes the line “Pickle pickle pickle I’m gonna kill you with my sickle”. A beautiful bit of satire follows concerning the effect such a show has on its audience, but it also generates a lot of mileage from mocking how something like Pickles For Breakfast is made, with the it nicely tying in with the main plot line at the end in what looks like a seemingly effortless way.

This really is a show which is on absolute fire right now, all of the performances are pitch perfect and an absolute delight to watch, Lance Reddick was in The Wire but he’s even better here than he was in that, and everyone else has shown up with their A+ game as well. But even better is the script which tears in to the subjects it satirises with glee, there’s a ridiculous amount of quotable dialogue but the way they use the internet to find out what the fan’s of Society want from a finale is beautifully described with the line “The fans vomit, we eat the vomit, and then we simply vomit that vomit back in to the fan’s mouths”, and which is an image which will undoubtedly haunt my dreams for years to come.

The idea of an algorithm being responsible for hours of children’s television is an extremely fun one too, it’s clearly based on the horrendous shite which can be found on youtube but Corporate takes that idea and makes it even funnier by having the creator of the algorithm desperately impressed with what it produces, describing it as “the most prolific artist of the 21st century” and comparing herself to how an ape must have felt when witnessing the birth of humanity.

It’s not all vicious satire though, the show still finds the time for a big bunch of good old fashioned daftness, much of which is based around the fake tv show Society and all of the various twists found in the finale, the way Matt (Matt Ingebretson), Grace (Aparna Nancherla), Kate (Anne Dudek) and co are obsessed with the Society character’s finally losing their virginities was beautifully funny, Pickles For Breakfast contained some hilariously odd moments (and an amazing song), and the suggestion that “The data is evil, just look what its done to Barron”, whose eyes were bleeding due to it, were all fantastic moments, though once again this is just a small sample and I could have listed a sod load more.

This really is up there with the very, very best tv series that Comedy Central has ever produced, or any other network for that matter. Sadly this final season only consists of six episodes so it will be over with all too soon, but if the next five are as great as this was then it’ll see the show go out on fire, and be that extremely rare thing, a comedy series that only got better and better as it went along and didn’t outstay its welcome for a single second.

★★★★1/2

Alex Finch.
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Related Link:
Our review of Corporate Season 2 Episode 1.

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