Posted by: pop-break | April 25, 2013

TV Recap: Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell, Series Premiere

justin matchick is in hell …

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Sometime in the past four or five years Adult Swim, once the premier programming block for bizarre, off-kilter, and mature animated shows, decided to begin focusing on more live-action shows. The block that was made famous for offering the alternative animation of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Harvey Birdman, and Sealab 2021 is now the home of Loiter Squad, NTSF:SD:SUV, and now Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell.

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YPFIGTH is a workplace comedy set in the worst possible workplace in any plane of existence, Hell itself. The damned are now forced to become cubicle dwelling demons as head honcho Satan (Matt Servitto) needs more people to help punish those condemned to hell and keep those who sell their soul to the devil in check. One of these office demons is Gary (Henry Zabrowski), a bumbling worker who finds out he has an upstart new intern in recently minted demon Claude (Craig Rowin).

Claude surprisingly gets the hang of being a member of Satan’s army fairly quickly, and even surpasses Gary’s comparatively lame work ethic in no time at all. Together they have to make a stop in the mortal realm to convince a baseball player who sold his soul to Satan to start praising the Dark One after games instead of thanking God. Predictably, things don’t go as smoothly as planned.

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Like a more vulgar version of The Office, YPFIGTH tries to find humor in the mundane activities of corporate servitude except with a demonic quirk. When Gary starts to develop carpal tunnel syndrome from whipping people too much, or when Satan undermines him by supporting Claude’s more bold proposal, it’s not too far off from your typical workplace comedy plots, just with a few extra lost souls and demonic horns.

At the typical Adult Swim episode length of 15 minutes, YPFIGTH takes a surprisingly long time to get into the main plot of the episode, and at times just lingers too long on scenes that ultimately are not as funny as the director apparently thought they were. There are a couple of scenes that will make you laugh out loud, but compared to the laugh-per-second pace of a show like Harvey Birdman, YPFIGTH wastes too much time on setting up jokes that only really succeed half the time.

YPFIGTH does manage to remind me of a similar Adult Swim show from several years ago, Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil. Just like YPFIGTH, Lucy made Satan into less of a terrifying controller of the Underworld and more into a typical white collar boss. The show only lasted 11 episodes, yet deserved far more. Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell is fine if you’re looking for a quick distraction during some late night channel surfing, but as a full-fledged series it’s just another addition to Adult Swim’s growing collection of middling live-action shows.

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