Disjointed Part 1 Review

When Netflix's new comedy series Disjointed was first announced, I was super excited for it. After all, Kathy Bates is an Oscar and Emmy winning Queen of Acting, and Chuck Lorre, despite some missteps, remains a comedy great, responsible for Mom, one of my personal favorite shows, among others. When reviews from other critics started to come in, let's just say that my expectations were immediately lowered. Critical response has been tepid at best. Nevertheless, I remained excited (though less so) for the series, as I tend to like shows that the critics really don't. So without further ado, let's talk about Disjointed.

I'll be honest, Disjointed gets off to a rough start. The first episode is not very good. The laughs are few and far between. After more than a year of excitement, it's certainly a disappointing start. I was very underwhelmed by the whole thing. With just a few tweaks, it could have been good, but it wasn't a great start. The scene in which we learn that Carter is a veteran is just really weird, and it's one of the few times in which Nicole Sullivan's Maria, who was a true standout this season, got on my nerves, the other being the way-too-long ending scene of the first episode. The entire episode was really just setup for the rest of the show, but that doesn't mean I'll just brush off its mediocrity. It really made me doubt that I would even enjoy the show.

The second episode is much better, as the characters actually have something to do in it. A big problem I had with the first episode was that some of the characters were just there, not really contributing much to the show. I had trouble remembering if Elizabeth Ho's Jenny and Dougie Baldwin's Pete were even in the first episode. Even characters that served more of a purpose, such as Ruth's son Travis and Alternative Caring employee Olivia didn't help to make the first episode very funny, memorable, or very good. The only parts I really enjoyed were Kathy Bates as Ruth and Nicole Sullivan's Maria. They remained my favorite parts throughout the show, but the other characters got much more entertaining as they were given more to do. We got to see the dynamics between the characters in episode two, and it went a long way in improving the show.

This show also tries to get dramatic at some times, and it flat out does not work. Whenever the story involves Tone Bell's security guard Carter and his PTSD, it's awkward. A storyline involving the PTSD of a soldier just does not make any sense in a stoner comedy. It's out of place, and it keeps this show from truly embracing its light and goofy side. And this isn't me saying that a sitcom can't address these issues. Fellow Netflix shows BoJack Horseman and F Is For Family mix darkness with comedy perfectly. But not this show. It just doesn't work. FX/FXX's You're the Worst also features a character with PTSD and handles it much better. Carter's PTSD storyline is always my least favorite part of the show, and I just find myself cringing during it. It's not good.

All of this isn't to say that I disliked Disjointed. In fact, I really enjoyed it.

Kathy Bates puts out another great performance in this show. Ruth is the absolute delight to watch on screen, always delivering the funniest lines in the show that frequently made me laugh out loud. Like in most of her roles, Bates is a natural in this role, and she's easily the best (and the funniest) actor in the main cast. She's always entertaining in this role, and I enjoyed this show mostly because of her.

The short little Strain O' The Day segments (for which each episode of the show is named for) are pretty enjoyable, and I frequently found myself laughing out loud at them. My favorite Strain O' The Day segment is easily the "Prom Night" one, which I found hysterical. Everyone involved in that segment is quite funny in it, especially Kathy Bates and Tone Bell as the "parents".

There's only one real "standout" episode of Disjointed, in which the entirety of the episode really works well and it's really funny. That episode would be "Olivia's S***balls", which is so funny and a great watch. It also features a great setup for the finale. If you can only watch one episode of Disjointed, this really should be the one. Episodes 2-8 and 10 were also pretty good and I suggest watching them, but episode 9's the best.

In the end, Disjointed is a really fun watch, and I suggest it to anyone looking for a fun show to watch that isn't serialized. It's a fun way to spend 25-or-so minutes, and I don't get why the critics hated it so much. If you go into it with an open mind, instead of thinking it'll suck right off the bat, you just might enjoy it. I know I did. This show isn't exactly high-quality, but that doesn't mean that it's not entertaining. But please, kill that laugh track.

Score: 8/10
Grade: B
MVP: Kathy Bates
Episode of the Season: Olivia's S***balls

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