TV Review: <i>Angie Tribeca</i> (2×1+2) “Fleas Don’t Kill Me” & “Miso Dead”

ANANGIE2Created by Steve and Nancy Walls Carell, Angie Tribeca became a bit of a surprise TBS gem upon its Season 1 release. Garnering strong acclaim from critics and audiences alike, it should amount to no surprise that this clever cop spoof would eventually receive a Season 2. Now that the day has come, and we get to enjoy two different episodes to celebrate Angie Tribeca’s return, it comes as great satisfaction to see the show’s zany surrealist humor arrive back to television screens once more, even if there have been a few bumps along the way.

Angie Tribeca is a TBS comedy series that centers around spoofing popular crime dramas. Starring Rashida Jones as the titular character, Angie has just awoken from a year-long coma, after trying to disarm a bomb in the Season 1 finale, to discover everything in her life has changed drastically. Her partner and love interest Jay Geils (Hayes MacArthur) has moved on to dating medical examiner Dr. Monica Scholls (Andrée Vermeulen), and she has a child she didn’t even realize giving birth to. However, despite everything being thrown her way the moment she awakens, Tribeca decides to don her badge once again and vows to fight a mixture between criminal scum and strong sexual tension with Geils.
With the end of the original season, the first thing you’re going to notice returning to Angie Tribeca is the increased run time and the higher quality in production. The camera work and set design have definitively taken a step up for the better, and it’s greatly appreciated to see this show get the appropriate funding it deserves. None of that would matter if the show was terrible, but thanks to Rashida Jones being as lively and energetic as ever playing the role of Tribeca, that’s thankfully not the case. Angie Tribeca roars back on to the television screen as if it was never gone, and the supporting characters that make up Tribeca’s task force feel as charming and merrily ludicrous as ever before. Which is good to know, considering you need insane characters to match the insane nature of this show’s comedic style.

The biggest surprise change since the first season, on the other hand, is how much more the show is starting to rely on sight gags. Some of these sight gag jokes may end up flying over the viewer’s head if they don’t actively look out for them. For example, one might not think to look at Dr Scholls’ jewelry in a morgue scene, but doing so would reveal that her necklace has a shiny cursive written word on her neck that literally reads “Necklace.” Maybe that doesn’t sound like a comedic gold mine, but its kind of like playing a round of “I Spy” to find a few hidden jokes here and there, and it only adds to the character Angie Tribeca has created for itself.

Having said that, the biggest problem so far in the second season’s first couple episodes is that the upgrades in run time and quality of production seems to have come at a cost. As much fun as it is to still witness the antics of Tribeca and her team fighting crime together, said antics feel a little more held back than usual. In the first season, the surreal comedy took up the majority of screen time in each episode, with just a little drama and narrative thrown into the mix to keep things moving. In the second season, as of yet, the show appears to focus more on the stories than the actual gags that gave Angie Tribeca its identity. Sure, there’s still plenty of laughs to be had in these episodes, but characters such as Lieutenant Chet Atkins (Jere Burns) and canine officer David Hoffman (Jagger) feel mostly underutilized thus far. Even the humorous gag of the opening credit “scream” sequence has been completely cut out. In a sense, its low production quality yet spunky behavior is what made Angie Tribeca so hilarious to watch in the first place. With just the first two episodes to work off of so far, I can only say that the humor and tone so far have been “Good, but not great.”

Even so, there’s still enough here for fans to enjoy about the second season of Angie Tribeca. Along side Rashida Jones’ eccentric performance, the suitable amount of laughs to be had will definitely help off-set the hiccups that have accumulated since Season 1. Even with the aforementioned gripes, I still greatly look forward as to what the rest of the season throws our way. Maybe it’ll take some time to adjust to the new, more calibrated, design and feel of the episodes, but as long as the laughs keep coming that’s all that truly matters.

Episode 1 Rating: 7.5/10

Episode 2 Rating: 7/10

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