“I thought Japan was China. Turns out it’s macro diff. My bad.”
As you all inevitably read this review or even watch the episode on your fancy tablet or smart phone, it only makes sense that the ever-popular topic of iPhones would go under the NewsReaders microscope. We get an under-used, but who is perhaps now my favorite correspondent, Xandra Dent, who tackles the area in the show’s tech segment. Xandra is much more of a caricature than a correspondent, but in the best possible way, as we see her romping about dressed like things such as a watermelon from “Fruit Ninja.” Xandra goes about showing us where iPhones come from, because they certainly come from somewhere, just like “tomatoes and Canadians” do.
Xandra is easily the sort of character that could get a spin-off from this show (which is in itself, a spin-off) as she goes through about a dozen ridiculous outfits in her limited segment, which features riffs on anime, chat speak, and cosplay. The conclusion works well enough, showing Xandra not only in a Chinese prison for weeks, but seeming to be popular amongst the group. This theme keeps going further when Xandra then goes to Africa, examining their side of plight in relation to the iPhone, and her missing the point entirely, as she shouts things out like,“This is totally Resident Evil!”
Then, we’re told that “America’s not only obese with food, but they’re obsessed with it.” Kumail’s correspondent takes us through the second segment which examines restaurants with gimmicks, specifically, George’s (Jerry Minor) medieval themed restaurant which was going under. That is until an impaling accident gives him the idea of focusing on the other side of authenticity, embracing the dangers, death (the destination re-brands itself as “Plague”), and uncleanliness of the Dark Ages, and people going wild for it. Oh yeah, and no Jews allowed.
This is all working swimmingly until the actual amount of guillotine-related deaths as “Plague” begin to become a problem. But hey, the victims should have known Latin, so caveat emptor and all that.
Both of these are decent enough segments but they kind of fly by and don’t go very deep behind a surface dissection of the ideas. Seeing more restaurants in “Restaurant Plague”, or even “Plague” franchising itself out and showing the horrors of the other locations. Even the iPhone piece could have been a little more economical and skewed it all a little further, like by having an African child that’s adopted by a suburban family, and having him play with an iPhone that he himself might have even made.
At the least, there’s some Skip Reming this week, who was sorely absent last episode. He doesn’t care for twins, in case you were wondering. So yeah, don’t mention twins around him.
NewsReaders continues its second season adeptly, but I’m still hoping they turn all of this up a notch and churn out some classics this year. The first season has some deeply smart stories, and this should be able to top that.
But hey, there’s still a Louis LaFonda reference in there, so, at least we’re all having fun, right guys?