Is this the best that TV has to offer? Not by a long shot but if you’re into goofball comedy the likes of “Airplane!” and “The Naked Gun” or a TV series like “Sledgehammer” then you owe it to the sound of laughter coming out of your mouth to check out Season 1 of “Angie Tribeca”. The show is a spoof of cop procedural shows and its humor is slapstick, playing around with words, sight gags, and skewering expectations. It stars Rashida Jones who plays the titular Angie Tribeca, a detective who gets the job done when there’s a job to do. She’s overcommitted, underplayed, and apparently exactly what her new partner Detective J. Geils (yes, like the ‘80’s band) needs in a romantic partner. As they go on goofy missions encountering the likes of Helmut Frontbut (who has an abnormal midsection so that it looks like his, well, his butt is in front and he goes to great lengths to correct people who mispronounce his name: “It’s pronounced “Frount!-boote!”) our hero detectives solve the cases and get the bad guys but it’s all beside the point. Recurring characters add to the comedic depth and include the medical examiner who is a bit too eager to pronounce people dead (Dr. Monica Scholls), the expert forensic scientist Dr. Edelweiss who always surprises by informing the detectives exactly what they already know much to their enlightenment (Dr. E is played by a game Alfred Molina no less!), and always yelling Lieutenant Pritikin Atkins who never tires of calling his detectives into his office. The only drawback to the show is that the season is so short, a mere 10 episodes. Here’s a moment or two that tickled me from each ep:
“Pilot” In the opening sequence Tribeca shuts off her alarm and gets out of bed and hops into the shower. The standard sequence then goes all Rambo crazy as she starts working out for no apparent reason and begins to trash her apartment. This got me hooked watching her swing her towels smashing bowls and cups off the counter as if this was a perfectly normal part of her prep day for work!
“The Wedding Planner Did It” When Tribeca and Geils question a warehouseman sweeping up just after the business evacuated he initially doesn’t give them any good info. They’ve had about enough out of his useless info and tell him to call them if he remembers anything and he says, “Well, I did use to see them plant cocaine into the cakes” at which point they yell out him to call them if he has anything and they walk off. It’s just so stupid it’s funny.
“The Famous Ventriloquist Did It” Tribeca pretends that she’s a ventriloquist’s dummy and sits on Geils’ lap as he plays her in front of an audience there to see the famous ventriloquist Fisher Price (yep, Fisher Price!) played by famous ventriloquist Jeff Dunham. We expect Geils to be great. Guess what? He sucks.
“The Thumb Affair” When Dr. Zaius, an art collector/ historian, is caught for stealing a famous painting he yells out with finger pointed up, “I’ve been framed!” as two movers walk in front him with a big empty frame.
“Commissioner Bigfish” When Geils is chasing down the police commissioner who has been visiting a ladies of the evening house that the detectives are busting Bigfish is running through the streets dressed up like a big baby, complete with bonnet and bottle. Geils is in hot pursuit and when Bigfish stops and faces off with Geils he threatens Geils with his baby bottle. Geils stops and chides, “What are you gonna do? Give me a drink of your milk?” And then Bigfish squeezes the bottle which impossibly douses Geils with a firehose amount of milk. Icky and funny.
“Ferret Royale” Keegan-Michael Key (of the Key and Peele TV comedy series) puts on a horrible spitting German accent and chews up the scenery. Plus, his butt looks like it’s in front. There are many great moments in this ep top to bottom as it parodies “Casino Royale” among other pop culture.
“Tribeca’s Day Off” Tribeca is being forced to take a vacation day and she’s just sick about it. When she fumbles through shopping for herself at a supermarket she is helped by a stocking clerk, Vic Deakins (played by famous funnyman Bill Murray), who is way too old for her but they flirt and she’s falling for him. As they plan to see each other later and she walks off all squishy happy he starts throwing her packs of toilet paper as if it’s some sort of foreplay. Weird uncomfortable funny.
“Murder In the First Class” A chase scene occurs aboard an airliner that will make you wonder just how long the airliner actually is. The cockpit scenes recall “Airplane!”
“Inside Man” Lieutenant Pritikin tells Geils and Tribeca that they have to go deep undercover and they ask how deep in a deep voice. He repeatedly says “deeper” and they continue to drop their octaves to understand just how deep they’re supposed to go. Tribeca sounds like a man she goes so deep. This is another rich ep all the way through.
“The One With the Bomb” Some of the jokes are too obvious but are still funny. When Geils is kidnapped and Tribeca and a SWAT unit burst into a house thinking they’ve found him what they find is a female mannequin with a bomb strapped to her chest standing next to a coffee table with a recorder. One of the SWAT officers is immediately smitten by the busty mannequin and as he rushes toward her with outstretched arms he remarks, “Man! Look at that rack!” Tribeca shouts too late, “No! Don’t! It’s a boobie trap!”
What can I say? I really enjoyed and laughed a lot at this stupid show! My wife watched a few eps with me and after awhile she was asking if there was any new Tribeca on so it doesn’t have to just appeal to guys, though I think they are the main target audience. I showed several of the eps to some juveniles that I work with and they were almost bewildered by them, laughing and then catching themselves and going, “What? That’s so stupid! That didn’t make any sense!” but they ate it up. Unfortunately, Season 2 lost some steam. Season 1 (IMO) is far better.