Comedy is one of those genres that is very hard to pin down. It is very subjective, and what is funny to some people might not be funny to others. Being able to be funny and have a big mass appeal is a talent not many people have. It is the hard route to take when it comes to comedy. This is the reason many comedians don’t try to be that way. Instead, they choose to be a niche type of comedian, one that appeals only to a small audience. Sometimes having a small audience is enough.
However, there will always be diminishing returns if the formula you have derived your content from just keeps repeating itself over and over. At some point, that formula will not work anymore, and the audience that enjoys the content will only diminish with the passing of time. Staying relevant is a hard thing to do in this business, but redefining is a vital process. Without it, there can only be stagnation, and when things get stagnant, they suck.
This is exactly what is happening with Farzar, the newest animated TV series coming from the minds of Waco O’Guin, and Roger Black. These two creatives are also the guilty parties behind shows like Brickleberry, Paradise PD, and now Farzar, a science fiction variant of those two previous shows. They all share the same type of comedy, which is based mostly on toilet humor, and they go the route of being random and crazy when coming up with plots and events.
This type of animated series reached its peak with Rick & Morty. That show became so huge that it transcended its medium to become part of the internet, with memes and references to it still running around the web to this day. Even Rick & Morty ended up becoming stale, and it is now just a shadow of its former self. The reason for this? The unwillingness to change, to be different, and experiment more with tone and storytelling.
These shows, including Farzar, based the entirety of their comedy on being outrageous. On being so random that the audience will never guess what is coming next later in the episode or season. This style, like any other style of storytelling, can work if you use it correctly and with moderation. Sadly, creators have been misusing this type of storytelling style as of late. It seems like they think that having no limits to the internal logic of the show can only be a good thing, as it means that anything can happen.
However, I would argue that if anything can happen in these stories, then the sense of wonder just disappears. In the wise words of Syndrome, if everything is super, then nothing is. As each episode of Farzar comes to an end, it is easy to see that nothing really happened between the beginning and the end. The episodes are only comprised of random ideas, all thrown together into a blender, and then given to us dressed as a story.
The truth is that there is no story. Characters, plots, and any sense of progression are squandered and sacrificed so that the characters can go at it again with another dick joke. The show tries to be edgy and outrageous but ends up feeling dumb and like it is trying too hard to be cool. If you need to try this hard to seem cool, it might mean you aren’t really that cool. Farzar isn’t the only guilty show in this aspect; there are many others right now doing the same thing, and it is getting old really fast.
Farzar animation is being done by Bento Box, an animation studio that has been doing the animation work for Brickleberry, and Paradise PD as well. This is another issue that Farzar and other shows of its kind need to face. The animation style is also becoming stale. At one point, a character in the first episode asks, “Will this be more like Futurama or Rick and Morty?” The answer is both. The comedy and the storytelling are the same as in many other shows, and now the animation is as well.
The Simpsons shared an animation style with Futurama, and yet, they feel different. This is not the case with Farzar. The show feels exactly like the other two in terms of visuals, and the sci-fi dressing cannot hide that even when it comes to the animation, things are becoming quite boring. There is no sense of adventure or pushing the envelope when it comes to these shows, only the illusion of it.
It is a shame because the voice cast is filled with talented people. For example, Lance Reddick uses his great voice to bring Renzo, one of the main characters of the show, to life. His performance is amazing, and so is everyone else’s, although some voices are just too similar to each other, especially the ones concerning background characters. These characters do share voice actors, but it is very noticeable, and it shouldn’t be.
Farzar takes the plunge into sameness by changing absolutely nothing from its predecessors when it comes to style and humor. The sci-fi theme feels only like table dressing, as everything else stays the same. Nevertheless, the audience that loves this type of content will love it no matter what. Netflix keeps green-lighting these shows for a reason. However, it becomes clear that at some point, the train will stop, and the creators will need to find the next big trend to follow.