The quarter-hour shows on Adult Swim are caught somewhere between actual sitcom parodies like Soap and Police Squad and web shorts or sketch comedy segments. Robot Chicken gives off a web-comic vibe with short bursts of pop-culture references, and Childrens Hospital started as a web series before its first season on Adult Swim packed multiple shorts into single episodes. In that regard, Eagleheart is hard to grade—it’s like giving a thumbs up or down to each individual sketch on an episode of SNL. But there’s just enough connective tissue between each scene of riffing to form a small plot arc that gives the episodes some shape. The best episodes of Eagleheart combine a semblance of a police-show parody with constant melodramatic riffing; “Bringing Up Beezor” doesn’t deliver that pairing.
After a diversionary poker game in which Chris, Brett, and Susan realize they don’t have a weekly poker game and casually kill their fourth, Brett lands in the hospital after eating a bunch of poker chips. He has a beezor removed from his stomach, a mass of indigestible matter that he totes around like his child, caring about it more and more as it grows. When he brings the giant hairy turd to a drug bust—which naturally descends into a ridiculously bloody shootout—the beezor is shot, which turns Brett into a kind of super-cop. The beezor splits open to reveal a conniving, intelligent clone of Brett, who then sets out to put more beezors into everyone in the precinct—and presumably take over the world.
“Bringing Up Beezor” feels more like an extended series of sketches, with a thread of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers running throughout. There are faux ads for Beezor Bites and Enzorbia with Joanna Kerns that reminded me of Saturday Night Live commercial parodies—only I didn’t laugh very much. To the episode’s credit, it allows Brett Gelman to show off his comedic chops as both the buffoonish, actual version of his character and the seductive alien that beds Susan, flatters Chris, and manipulates a standoff to continue the rise of beezors. Chris Elliott always earns the biggest laughs during the moments that send up police shows, but Gelman’s character is definitely the best one to center the kind of surreal pastiche Eagleheart goes for in its more fantastical moments.
What I like so much about Childrens Hospital is that even in such a short amount of time during each episode, it finds a way to establish and develop its vapid, meta-medical soap opera characters and build a world. “Beezor” doesn’t really do the same for Eagleheart; without a clear-cut police-show parody, it shoots off in a bunch of different directions in each scene to reach for laughs. Some of those jokes stick, but in a quarter-hour show there shouldn’t be much filler, since presumably there are more ideas than can fit into twelve minutes.
- No Michael Gladis this week, and from the looks of the Eagleheart page in IMDB, he’s not here for the season.
- One of the ingredients that makes up a beezor: bits of couch cushion. Are Brett and Sgt. Wu from Grimm connected in some strange way?
- I always thought it was spelled “bezoar”—but that’s an impression formed from the Harry Potter series, where bezoars serve a completely different magical purpose.
- I'm going to try and keep the reviews short, since it's a quarter-hour show. I tend to ramble sometimes, so hopefully these end up pithier than some of the hour-long reviews around the site.