×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV Review: ‘Moonbeam City’

With:
Voices: Rob Lowe, Will Forte, Elizabeth Banks, Kate Mara

For those who won’t get enough of Rob Lowe in the flesh on Fox’s upcoming “The Grinder,” the actor lends his voice to “Moonbeam City,” the latest exercise in animated silliness from Comedy Central. Boasting an amusingly stylized look and an Adult Swim vibe, this cop show spoof from “Conan” writer Scott Gairdner features considerable star power in its vocal ranks while reveling in all the staples of the adult-animation playground, where an entire episode (the second) can be seemingly built largely around the phrase “dolphin penis.” Laughs do come, but seldom in anything approaching waves.

Taking full advantage of his earnest, deadpan delivery, Lowe plays Dazzle Novak, an utterly self-absorbed cop who appears to have borrowed Don Johnson’s “Miami Vice” wardrobe and brings strippers to work because, well, he paid for the time. Dazzle’s antics leave his boss, Pizzaz (voiced by Elizabeth Banks), in a constant state of exasperation; foster a macho rivalry with fellow cop Rad Cunningham (Will Forte); and mystify the capable Chrysalis Tate (Kate Mara), a desk jockey who yearns to join Dazzle in the field.

The plots are, not surprisingly, largely secondary to the jokes about sex, drugs and police brutality, as well as Dazzle’s utter incompetence and indifference to the collateral damage he inflicts. And while Gairdner and company do conjure some amusing lines (such as a sweatshop “that makes uncomfortable chairs for other sweatshops”), there’s a sameness to the gags that doesn’t wear terribly well, quickly characterizing this as another one of those series whose worthwhile attributes could have been accommodated in a “Saturday Night Live” sketch.

Of the three episodes previewed, the best is a Comic-Con-inspired parody in which police “Cop Con,” where Dazzle and Pizzaz annually engage in travel-related trysts. The show has also lined up an impressive roster of guest voices for its 10-episode run, including Powers Boothe, Kate McKinnon, Catherine O’Hara, Andy Richter, Susan Sarandon, Molly Shannon, Paul F. Tompkins, Patrick Warburton and Adam West.

Ultimately, though, the series – making its debut behind “South Park,” which features a Caitlyn Jenner-themed episode to kick off its 19th season – can’t maintain the initial burst of energy that its design and ‘80s-inspired opening titles convey, and settles for being puerile as opposed to consistently clever. While there’s certainly a place for that, the glow from “Moonbeam City” is less than dazzling.

TV Review: 'Moonbeam City'

(Series; Comedy Central, Wed. Sept. 16, 10:30 p.m.)

Production: Produced by Titmouse, Olive Bridge Entertainment and Alphapanel Industries.

Crew: Executive producers, Scott Gairdner, Tommy Blacha, Will Gluck, Richie Schwartz; producers, Lowe, Shannon Barrett Prynoski; supervising director, Mark Brooks; writer, Gairdner; art director, Antonio Canobbio; editor, Brooks; music, Night Club; animation director, Allison Craig. 30 MIN.

Cast: Voices: Rob Lowe, Will Forte, Elizabeth Banks, Kate Mara

More TV

  • A.P. BIO -- "Melvin" Episode 208

    'AP Bio' Canceled After Two Seasons at NBC

    “AP Bio” has been canceled at NBC. Series creator Mike O’Brien shared the news with fans on Twitter, writing that “This has been my favorite project of my life.” In the single-camera comedy, Glenn Howerton portrayed a disgraced Harvard philosophy scholar who lost out on his dream job and was forced to return to Toledo, [...]

  • James Holzhauer $2 million

    'Jeopardy!' Champion James Holzhauer Hits $2 Million Winnings Milestone

    This current “Jeopardy!” player has just won over $2 million on the popular game show. Who is James Holzhauer? The 34 year old professional sports gambler from Las Vegas has hit a “Jeopardy!” milestone by becoming only the second person in the show’s history to win over $2 million in regular season play. Holzhauer won [...]

  • Kanye West Shares a Memory of

    Kanye West Shares a Touching Memory of His Mother in Letterman Interview

    In a preview of David Letterman’s interview with Kanye West, which begins streaming next Friday, May 31, the musician’s wife Kim Kardashian West, tweeted a clip of him sharing a touching memory of his mother, Donda, who died in 2007 after a surgical procedure. While his wife looks on smiling, West answers Letterman’s question about [...]

  • CNN Lays Off Some Health Journalism

    CNN Lays Off Some Health Journalism Staffers

    CNN has laid off a handful of staffers from its health-journalism unit after deciding to place its health, climate and Southeastern newsgathering operations under a single aegis. ” As part of the normal course of business, our newsgathering team made a small restructure earlier this week that ultimately impacts 6-7 employees within CNN’s Health Unit,” [...]

  • Henry Ian Cusick

    'Lost' Star Henry Ian Cusick Signs With Buchwald (EXCLUSIVE)

    Henry Ian Cusick, best known for playing Desmond on the hit ABC series “Lost,” is signing with talent agency Buchwald for representation. Cusick also starred in the CW sci-fi/drama “The 100” and was most recently seen in the Fox series “The Passage.” His other notable television credits include “Scandal,” “24,” “Fringe,” “The Mentalist,” “Body of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content