By Dave B.
Avenue 5 (HBO) takes place on a luxury space yacht on a cruise around the solar system. When an accident knocks the ship off course, adding three years to the voyage, the thousands of passengers look to the ship’s captain and crew for guidance. But as it becomes clear that those running the ship have more style than substance, madcap chaos ensues.
If I had to describe Avenue 5 in five words, I’d say it’s largely “morbid humor about literal poop”. So your opinion about extremely dark bathroom humor will go a long way towards determining how you feel about this show. Personally, I think it’s fantastic. The cast, led by Hugh Laurie, is a riot. They have great chemistry and even better comedic timing. And the writing is a weird combination of intelligent and stupid at the same time. It’s a tough bonding to pull off, but the show’s writers largely succeed at doing so. At times, particularly in the latter half of the season, the show had me laughing so hard that I couldn’t breathe.
That said, Avenue 5 isn’t necessarily going to be popular amongst those looking for a comedy that’s lighthearted or highbrow. If you can’t find humor in concepts like suicide by severe stupidity, a murderous computer as President, or seeing the Pope’s visage in a laser-illuminated cloud of floating feces, you may intensely dislike this show.
Avenue 5 takes a lot of comedic swings and, to me, the show has many more hits than misses. The 9-episode season takes a few episodes to find a consistent voice, but when it finally does, the show truly shines. When you add a truly fantastic cast, an interesting outer space setting, and a brisk pace (each episode is only about 30 minutes long) Avenue 5 is a must-watch for fans of irreverent and morbidly dark humor.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.