The fall of Mike Myers has been one of the best documented falls from grace in recent memory. For a while, the Canadian comedian could do no wrong. Movies like Wayne’s World became cult classics, and the later Austin Powers franchise was one of the biggest successful comedies franchises ever. However, as the world moved forward, Myers and his brand of comedy stayed behind. It was very sad to see how the comedian tried to keep his fan base afloat only to find ridicule.
It all culminated with the release of The Love Guru, a film that at the time was so outdated and unfunny that it simply made everybody turn their backs on the comedian. Myers left the Hollywood machine behind, and he wasn’t seen in any productions for a long time. Only making cameos here and there, often in films outside the realm of comedy. Now, Myers is back, this time with a comedy miniseries that tackles conspiracy theories and a bit of Canadian pride. However, today, more than a decade after The Love Guru, Myers brand of comedy seems to be stuck still in the past.
The Pentaverate is a comedy miniseries produced by Netflix and written, and created, by Mike Myers. Myers stars in the show alongside Ken Jeong, Keegan-Michael Key, Debi Mazar, and Lydia West. The show tells the tale of Ken Scarborough, a Canadian news reporter that is being pushed into retirement for not being able to deliver the news people want to watch today.
The network gives him one last chance, so, alongside his assistant, Reilly, they embark on a journey where they will discover a secret society called the Pentaverate that has been controlling the world from the shadows.
The Pentaverate was created by five wise men, who during the black plague noticed that the sickness had its origin on the fleas that covered the unburied corpses. They were deemed heretics by the church, and from there they decided to create a secret society of people focused on making the world nicer.
The series premise is nothing that we haven’t seen before. Actually, Netflix already has shows that dwell into secret societies, both in serious and comedic terms. So, from the get go, The Pentaverate doesn’t feel like something unique or worth watching. Sadly, it becomes worse as it is clear that The Pentaverate is a show stuck in the past. Myers has been unable to change his style and the result is a show filled with bathroom jokes, terrible performances, and overall low production values.
The miniseries only consist of 6 episodes of around 30 minutes each. It isn’t a big time commitment, but those three hours of material do feel way longer than they should. The main issue is, of course, Myers. This type of comedy isn’t just funny anymore. Puns and bathroom jokes can only take you so far. The content of the show feels outdated, but it is the same case with the visuals and the tone of the piece.
Tim Kirkby directs all the episodes, and we can say that the visual style is quite stale. There are some elements that could be considered charming in a DIY sort of way, but the show really isn’t going to be a showstopper thanks to its visuals. Everything has this sense that there just wasn’t enough money to realize the full vision the creatives had for the show.
The show relies on too many gimmicks, including the fact that Myers plays like seven different characters. The gimmick has been played out by many other actors, including Eddie Murphy in another well reviled film named Norbit. The gimmick seems distasteful in this day and age, but Myers goes full in with it and well, the gimmick runs out of steam very, very fast.
It saves money, sure, but not letting other actors have a chance of bringing the characters to life feels overindulgent. Especially because Myers is very one note, all the characters he plays are basically the same one, the only differences come thanks to the makeup and costumes he uses for each one. Thankfully, the show has other actors around Myers, and one, in particular, comes off as charming inside all the insanity.
Newcomer, Lydia West plays Rilley, the assistant and main companion of Ken, one of Myers characters. West comes off as natural and her performance is quite charming. Her character might be naive at some points in the story, but she is completely earnest and because of it, it is quite easy to get behind her agenda, and support her throughout the story.
Sadly, West might be the only thing of quality in the show. This is not to say that there won’t be people out there that might find this type of show worth watching. Some people will be captivated by the comedy style, but in all reality this might not be the type of show that will appeal to audiences in today’s environment. With Netflix looking to fix their “Quantity over quality” status, this is the type of show the platform needs to avoid like the plague.
Overall, if what you’re looking for is some good laughs, then there are better quality choices on Netflix and in other platforms. The Pentaverate is only 3 hours long, but they are better spent somewhere else. This one is a hard pass.