‘The Soup’ survives transition


“You ask him to pass the salt and he gives you a bowl of soup, because you know what? Soup is better,” Joel McHale says at the end of the first episode in which I’d seen him play anything memorable. That show was “Community.” As it grew so did McHale’s career, too. It ultimately landed him a solo show, “The Soup,” on the E! channel. The downside was audiences had to endure Kardashian commercials even as McHale ridiculed his channel mates.

Something that also goes well with soup is crackers. Those dry, salty squares fills stomachs in ways chicken broth cannot do alone. “The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale” is a cracker.

It is salty. They earned their TV-MA rating. No culture is safe from McHale’s collection of clips on which to commentate. As reality tv has drawn less influence the writing team has expanded their scope to include international shows, game channels and fellow talk show hosts more dubiously than ever.

It is dry. The writing team does a good job at honing in on the sarcasm and cynicism permeating the public. McHale delivers that wry sense of humor so effectively; it not only translates across the medium change well, but it seems impossible to think that the show could be anywhere else than the streaming service. It’s almost as if no time has passed between tapings.

It fills stomachs. McHale only talks pop culture. There are no news segments. There is no mention of the president, Washington or any kind of politics. It’s refreshing.

The show is also executive produced by Paul Feig of “Bridesmaids” fame. Do yourself a favor and actually watch the end credits at least once. The self-referential treatment they’ve taken the show with crystallizes in the ending theme song.

Netflix granted McHale a 13 episode contract. The team seems off to a solid start, but tune in on Sundays to see if they stick around longer.

Photo: Netflix. If you have Netflix click here for the show.

#sixseasonsandacoffee

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