Okay look, over the last two reviews of the first two episodes, I went on explaining that I would likely end up watching the rest of the season because there was something that just kept me somewhat interested. Today, I found out that I was actually wrong about that assumption and now I find myself giving up on the series. There is a lot to love on HBO, but that doesn’t mean that everything they produce is good. I gave them the benefit of the doubt and gave the show three episodes before making a final decision. In watching episode three, the realization hit me like a brick wall.
I have expressed many of my issues with the series up to this point whether it be the comedy that is sometimes dumb and sometimes intelligent, or the story just not working for me at all. It was at this point that I realized how bad this show actually is. Now, keep in mind that some people probably like this show very much and are probably calling me dumb for not understanding the humor like they do, but I just do not like this series. I think it’s a tired schtick that gets old after the first episode. The second episode makes you think that it might be able to work, but the third episode made me realize that this style of comedy and storytelling just wasn’t going to work. It lost its appeal as soon as I started episode three. I’m not sure what it was this time, but I just couldn’t handle it anymore and had to give up on the show entirely.
I wanted to like the show very much for several reasons, the biggest being my love for Hugh Laurie and his acting which is actually the only consistently great thing in the series. It all boils down to the storytelling and comedy. I’m sure I sound like a broken record at this point for mentioning these two elements so much, but they really are the most important things relevant to whether this series works or doesn’t. I said in my previous review that the humor felt oddly similar to something like Family Guy or American Dad. Now I do enjoy certain episodes and certain moments in those shows, but I can’t just sit and watch them more than once because the humor starts to feel tired and stupid.
The comedy in Avenue 5 takes some notes from these two series and ultimately suffers from the similar type of feeling I have about them. The comedy was different and unique at first, but given time it ended up feeling tired, old, and dumb. Those are simple words to describe how it felt, but it’s entirely true. Whether it be the recurring floating corpses that people think are zombies or the tiring delay between calls from the ship and earth. It all felt funny at first, but the show relies on bringing back old gags to try and continue a laugh that had no right continuing any further. For some I’m sure it works, but for me it made me roll my eyes and just feel so dumb watching it.
I’m actually very frustrated with this show when it comes to the writing. I mentioned in my reviews that at points it feels like the show is being very intelligent with its writing, but other times it just feels so incredibly dumb. I’m frustrated about this because I feel like there was a way they could have taken this series to be very good, but in reality it relies on these moments rather than actually having a complete series based around what is actually good in it. Instead it decides to focus more on the dumb comedy and recurring old jokes that end up not working when you have to bring them up again.
I can feel the hate coming already for those who actually like this series or those criticizing me for calling the comedy dumb, but that’s the best way for me to describe it. It’s clever in moments based on the choices they make and direction, but it ultimately drops the ball on execution when the jokes finally hit. As much as I wanted to like it, it just doesn’t work and I’m sorry for anyone who does like it but man I tried and it just isn’t working.
I really don’t know what else to say about this show that I haven’t already said. I’m highly disappointed in this show and what it ended up being. I first saw it after watching an episode of The Outsider and seeing a commercial for it. It looked interesting and unique and had enough of a hook to intrigue me. I was expecting something special given it being on HBO, but unfortunately I was let down and find myself having to give up on it. For those who say or think that I should watch the whole series, you have to understand that there is so much to watch that there has to be a point where I put my foot down and give up on a show if it just isn’t working.
I hope if you like the show so far that you continue to like it. I hope that maybe the show course corrects itself and I hear that it actually improves on its faults. If that does happen then I wish for you all watching it to let me know so that maybe I can give it another shot in the future. For now though, I will be giving up on Avenue 5 and pursuing something else.
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