I think if I hadn’t been assigned to review this show for the site, I probably would have stopped watching it by now. It’s not that it isn’t funny, it’s just that it’s made me increasingly uncomfortable since the last third of the last season, and that, coupled with the looooooooooong delays between seasons, are the kind of thing that would generally make me loose interest and drift away. It’s not that I even tend to shy away from uncomfortable humor. I don’t have a lot of sacred cows, and I tend to poke a lot of fun at other peoples because I am, basically, at root, if I’m honest, kind of a jerk. My temperament doesn’t really run to gross-out humor, but I can and will laugh at damn near anything. I have few things that I’ll really get offended over, and of course, child molestation is far and away the biggest thing on that list. I don’t think it can be made funny, I don’t think we should laugh at it, I don’t think we should try.
Sick humor is often an attempt to diminish horror. We make jokes about Nazi war atrocities and the Inquisition and American Indian Genocide because the scope of the crime is so huge, so satanic, so massive that it frequently is more than we can comprehend. We make jokes about these things - mostly directed at their perpetrators - in order to change them from “Unspeakable horror” to “Cheap Gag” and so, in the process, diminish them to something we can think about without getting sick and having our toes curl up in revulsion. It’s fitting - but offensive - that we should do this, because it robs our historical bogymen of some of their power over us, they go from devils to buffoons, and in so doing we rob the purveyors of these crimes of something they wanted most: a godlike reputation of awesome power. That seems fair to me, deny them this one last thing.
But you can go too far, you know? And the examples above are historical. The death camps have long-since stopped, the Inquisition is over, no one is actively trying to wipe out Indians anymore. Child molestation is a current problem, a clear and present danger to our families, our republic, and civilization itself, since the basic drive of *any* society is to protect the brood, and this runs counter to that. It destroys lives, families, and as far as can be told, attempts to rehabilitate pedophiles and put them back into society are something like 99% unsuccessful: the *WILL* do it again.
So why would you want to joke about that? Why would you want to make light of it? Why portray a serial pedophile as a “Loveable” comedy relief character? I mean, this episode tries to have us laughing at a former victim of (evidently) a decade or so of molestation, that’s just sick. I’m not laughing. You can accuse me of being too Republican about this if you like, you can say that I have no sense of humor, or that I just don’t get it. Fine, whatever, but there are some things - few and far between, but they exist - that you just can’t make fun of, and this is one of them. This goes beyond ‘transgressive humor’ - this is just plain wrong.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, but how was the episode?”
Pretty good, really. Thanks for asking. Here's the play-by-play:
PLAY BY PLAY
The Monarch is tormenting Rusty as a precursor to killing him, but then it turns out Rusty’s got a psychological appointment, so under guild rules, Monarch has to let him go, reluctantly. The henchmen decide to go see a movie, the Monarch goes grudgingly home, and Rusty goes to his first Group Therapy appointment.
The other guys in group are a thinly-veiled parody of The Hardy Boys, Astro Boy, Johnny Quest (Now called “Action Johnny” evidently for copyright reasons) and a fat, late-20s, ex-sidekick of serial pedophile Captain Sunshine, one of an apparently-endless parade of dead and/or discarded “Wonderboys,” obviously intended as a particularly vicious parody of Robin, the Boy Wonder.
Meanwhile, the boys and Sgt. Hatred head out to see a movie, and bump in to the Monarch’s Henchmen. Hatred has a relapse, and is all out of drugs, so he hides out in the bathroom for a while, then just abandons the kids and locks himself in the panic room at the compound, as a precursor to his larger,