"The Awesomes" Misnomer
Enlisting the help of Saturday Night Live alums, Hulu’s crack at original programming may have seemed poised for greatness. Unfortunately, “The Awesomes” is little more than a cartoon spoof of superheroes, which is better done in the movie “The Avengers.” The brief flashes of humor are SNL-like in nature, as the characters mock contemporary culture, but don’t often follow through. The show does have its moments, but “The Awesomes” by no means lives up to its name.
Coming from the minds of Emmy-winning producer Mike Shoemaker and actor/comedian Seth Meyers, “The Awesomes” features a misfit group of superheroes who have filled the shoes of a once legendary team. Their leader, Prock (voice by Seth Meyers), attempts to follow in the footsteps of his fearless and now-retired father Mr. Awesome (voice by Steve Higgins). Although each superhero has his or her own unique power, with it comes a unique flaw. Muscleman (voice by Ike Barinholtz) is a complete meathead and speedster, Frantic (voice by Taran Killam) is an outright looney. With these overwhelming and contrasting faults, the team clashes and does not often find itself in favorable public opinion.
The team’s incompetencies and amusing mistakes provide a few laughs but a rather lackluster plot. In fact, the show’s plotline seems so simplistic that my 5-year-old relatives wouldn’t have a hard time following. In the first scene, there is a glimpse into the future of supervillain Dr. Malocchio (voice by Bill Hader) taking over the world with only Prock left to stop him. From there, all that’s left to figure out is the trap that Malocchio seems to be setting up for Prock and his team. At times it’s hard not to root for Malocchio, who provides most of the humor with his super-evil hypnotizing powers, cheeky accent and passion for cooking. The rest of the humor comes from an excess of pop-culture references as well as some crude cleverness. This juxtaposition between a simple cartoon and crude humor seems to be making it difficult to cast an appropriate audience age range.
If there is one “awesome” thing amid minimal action and cheesy plots, it’s the voicing. But even stellar voices can’t make up for obvious giveaways — there’s an obvious traitor in the superhero group.
At times the show can be catchy, which explains its high number of views during launch week. In the wake of all the superhero movies that are constantly being released — “The Wolverine,” “Thor: The Dark World” and “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” to name a few — “The Awesomes” may also find a niche. With plenty of room for potential, a slight rise in wit and a cliffhanger conclusion in the final episodes, the show may have just enough spark to make it to a second season. Nevertheless, Meyers and Shoemaker will have to put in a little more work to make “The Awesomes” worthwhile. By the looks of it, Hulu should probably have stuck to what it does best, providing TV shows and not producing them.2/5 Stars