This review is based on Part 1 of Disjointed.
Chuck Lorre’s latest comedy, Disjointed, will hope to be championed by fans of the inane yet somehow hugely successful Two and a Half Men and the super popular (and arguably funnier) The Big Bang Theory, but the question is which, if any, does the Netflix series most closely resemble?
With co-creator and writer David Javerbaum on board (who has previous credits for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report), many may be optimistic that Disjointed can create some genuine television magic. Sadly, that’s not the case. Not even close, in fact.
Within the opening few minutes, you’ll notice how similar it feels aesthetically to Two and a Half Men, which isn’t remotely amusing. Here, we have similar quality in its thin characters and approach to building any sort of overarching narrative. While each episode is self-contained enough to have a start, middle, and end, all of the 10 instalments of Disjointed Part 1 feels empty.
Despite Kathy Bates fronting the roster of otherwise unknowns, the legendary actor and fresh-faced crew can’t save the show from the abysmal writing. Couple that with lifeless, poorly delivered dialogue and you’ve got yourself a lacklustre sitcom with lowest common denominator laughs and nothing whatsoever to keep you hooked.
As much as Bates tries to charm with her screentime, it’s the lack of comedy timing and chemistry everyone else brings to the table that kills it off. By the time Episode 1 is over, the remaining nine become a never ending, laborious, excruciating slog for what feels much longer than two-and-a-half hours.
Hitting the midway point doesn’t get any better and you’ll be as unsatisfied as every half-hour segment passes by with a whimper, until the show throws some bizarrely intense and serious themes into the mix. Issues such as PTSD, depression, police intimidation, and racism feel so out of place that they stick out like a sore thumb. It’s difficult to offer serious commentary that’s sandwiched by 90 per cent toilet humour and a stale, unfunny set-up: it simply loses any importance amid a situation that comes across as anything but organic.
Part 1 ends on a completely different tone to the rest of the episodes. It’s kind of poignant, but totally at odds with itself, as if its writers suddenly decide to transform Disjointed into a serious drama, despite filling the previous few hours with mind-numbing jokes that rarely generate so much as a grimace – watch the first five minutes and you’ll have a very clear idea whether it’s for you or not.
While the show’s title is intended as a clever play on its subject matter, it’s anything but: Disjointed actually represents the imbalance and inadequacies of the programme as a whole.
Disjointed Part 1 is available on Netflix UK, as part of £7.49 monthly subscription.