Monday, June 24, 2013

Day One Hundred and Seventy-five - John Hodgman: Ragnarok, "Jobs, Dates, Movies, Boredom"

I'm about to commit a blasphemy.

I like John Hodgman, but I don't love John Hodgman.

It's funny. He epitomizes what it is to be an erudite, New York hipster. A true hipster, not a scene kid, who makes light of his intellectualism while doing his best to successfully rock a porn'stache and belittle both the audience and his "assistants" with faux ridicule and disdain.

He's playing a very specific character and there's just one problem... he's a little too awkward at being, well, awkward.

There's an odd hesitance to quite a few of his jokes throughout the special that pull you out and ruin the mood he's trying to create as a fake holier/smarter-than-thou guru of the Mayan apocalypse.

He does try though, and for that I laud him.

While I cannot really get behind the kooky mid-performance interlude by Cynthia Hopkins, it was an interesting change of pace from your normal standup special, making it an almost vaudevillian variety show with guest spots and supporting crew.

I just find it a bit sad that most of his jokes never quite hit the mark. At best, he's able to elicit a smile or two and the occasional chortle, but there are never any real laugh out loud moments. I definitely could've done without him reminding us of TDS or Mac vs. PC, as a comedian should make a show that stands apart from his previous gigs.

Overall, I enjoyed myself... but not immensely. Ragnarok has this sort of quiet buzz to it, a series of mellow vignettes loosely strung together. Experimental, interesting, but certainly not even close to spectacular. I'd call it an admirable failure, but it doesn't really fail... it just doesn't succeed, either.

Ragnarok is neutral.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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