LINK | Posted by Robin on Tuesday, August 07, 2012
NTSF:SD:SUV:: (short for National Terrorist Strike Force San Diego Sport Utility Vehicle) is the perfect Thursday companion to its preceding show, Childrens Hospital, both premiering on August 9th on Adult Swim. Conceived by comedic Renaissance man Paul Scheer, the show emerged from a series of parody trailers that aired during Childrens Hospital. The name of the show was the main joke, a take on all the CSI and Law & Order shows. It's a pretty funny joke, but to develop it into an actual series? Would that really work?
Oh, hell yes. It works just perfectly.
The basic story structures are based on a secret government anti-terrorist group run by a strict leader, played by Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek Voyager!), and includes the nerdy scientist who is supposed to be nerdy but is Hollywood beautiful (Rebecca Romijn), the tough black guy (Brandon Johnson), the ass-kicking babe (June Diane Raphael), the intelligent robot that doesn't seem to have a purpose, and the nerdy tech guy (played by Martin Starr, playing his best Martin Starr). Leading the cast is Paul Scheer as hot-shot Tent Hauser, who provides the David-Caruso pun-and-sunglasses schtick on every show. And no, it never gets old.
The scenarios involve the gang fighting terrorism and evil plan-hatching masterminds, but like its Adult Swim companion show Childrens Hospital, its genius lies in broad, visual gags and parody. Surprisingly, this show is filmed with what looks like a very hefty special effects budget, so we get the visuals of a Michael Bay film with the comedic commentary of stupid action flicks. However, like most Adult Swim shows, no stereotypes, language, or topics are off-limits.
Nothing is too over the top for this show to cover. In fact, the more over-the-top, the better. Last season, evil talking dolphins, nuclear weaponry, cruise ship hijacking, and mind control were all featured. The season two premiere episode, "16 Hop Street," is a direct parody of 21 Jump Street. Even though the movie was released this past year, that film was a self-aware commentary on the show, but NTSF creates a direct parody. Guest star and comedy podcast superstar Jon Daly guest stars as the undercover cop who's been in deep cover in the high school for over 15 years and is the suspected perpetrator. The team enrolls in high school, where Piper becomes more concerned about her status as a the popular mean girl than the mission, and Trent keeps almost blowing his cover by injuring people.
With such a strong season premiere, I am confident that NTSF:SD:SUV:: can offer an entire second season of great one-liners and farcical situations, even if it was derived from a one-note joke. Sometimes a quick idea is the best one, and I am so grateful that Paul Scheer and crew went with it. The other thing that I enjoy so much about this show is that they seem to have such an amazing time filming it. The rotating lineup of guest stars is pulled from the L.A. alternative comedy scene, which is most likely friends of the show's writers and producers. What could be more fun that producing awesome comedy with your friends for a network? I guess watching it would be.
The second season of NTSF:SD:SUV:: premieres on August 9 at 12:15am on Adult Swim.