If ever it was possible to have an American show with a strong dose of British humor (or should this be humour?), 'The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret' is it. I admit I was put off by the name of the show (shortened to just 'Todd Margaret' by my DVRecorder), petty I know, committing the error of judging a book by it's cover, which I suppose is actually an inside joke in itself. This is definitely one of those 'love it or hate it', shows, so be warned. Caveat: I have sometimes found myself not liking something at first, but come to appreciate it over time. Likewise, some things I like immediately prove to lack staying power. 'Todd Margaret' brings a mix of these moments, and I'm curious what I will think of this show in a couple of years, even if I were to never see another season. (I am just hoping, to the producers, PLEASE Please please don't try to drag five seasons out of a two or three season story arc, which has become a fatal flaw in all too many shows in the past.)
I like to think of myself as being reasonably sophisticated and eclectic, yet found at some points the show becomes so edgy that I can't bear it, and have to pause the show and go watch something else for a while before returning. While some possibly more prudish viewers might read 'bad' here and not 'edgy', fine. Go watch something else like I did, and come back to it or not. The show isn't trying to be either G-rated or aimed at social conservatives, so if you find it offensive, go count your blessings, warn your fellow church goers not to watch, and leave this behind you. No harm, no foul.
Many parts of the show are intentionally melodramatically exaggerated, which if they weren't being obviously absurd might otherwise not care for, but after adjusting my brain from 'Normal' to 'Todd Margaret', I don't find off putting. After all, no one expects 30 open cans of tuna to precipitate a biologic hazard that condemns an entire apartment block and sets off an international manhunt, but in Todd's world, it's just one more way that world conspires against him.
If any loyal Season One viewers are having trouble tying some of these diverse pieces together, I recommend 'The Increasingly Necessary Recap of Todd Margaret'. (Sorry if I got the exact title wrong, I'm working from my ever-decreasing memory.) While the description informs us in advance that this is "an animated special, in the Korean visual style" (again, from memory) which I found agonizing since I don't like anime or anything like it, try not to be put off by this description as I was for so long. It really lends insight to some of the most subtle humor (much of which admittedly will miss many American viewers like me), which Cross freely admits aren't really expected to be discovered by viewers anyway.
In the final analysis, there are far to many derivative productions that I just don't or no longer find entertaining (recent example 'Persons of Interest'), or which drag on long after their 'Use By...' date (Law and Order season 100). Other than its classification as comedy/other, 'Todd Margaret' can't be pigeonholed into any category—it is different from almost all other shows out there, which to me is in itself is meritorious in this age of derivative entertainment. Love it or hate it, I'm pretty sure that after you've seen it, you can't forget it.
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