- Summary: Originally aired in the United Kingdom, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret features David Cross as office worker Todd Margaret who ends up being sent by his boss (Will Arnett) to the company's London office to help sell its energy drink.
- Genre(s): Comedy
- Show Type: Ended
- Season 1 premiere date: Oct 1, 2010
- Episode Length: 30
- Air Time: 10:30 PM
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80Although every second of this comedy is far from genius, the disturbed mood and unique mean-spirited flavor of it all points to what the network comedies are so often lacking: bold choices that border on the absurd.
60It isn't until the glimmer of a plot finally emerges, after Todd stumbles into a Middle Eastern market with a can of Thunder Muscle, eliciting sudden mysterious interest--that the series inches past mere mockery to the promise of more muscular misadventure.
30Told in flashback that implies things have gone terribly, terribly wrong, the ensuing gags are either lame or (for a U.S. audience, anyway) or culturally confusing--frequently falling back on blue language in lieu of being genuinely clever. A more fundamental problem lies with Cross, whose mixture of wide-eyed innocent/ugly American/myopic moron has no nuance to engender even a trace of sympathy for his plight.
10I've never literally lol'd more in my life than I have watching this show. David Cross' portrayal of Todd is phenomenal, at every wrong-turn and comedic failure, I find myself becoming more enamored with the hilariously stupid character. It's got just the right amount of "British" too; unlike The Office (U.K. version), so that the viewer isn't thrown off by the accents, but knows they're located in England. Throw in Will Arnett's now more involved role, and you've got the makings of a show so amusing you'll have trouble breathing.… Expand
Brilliant. I would imagine this show wouldn't be quite as funny if you weren't British, but as one I can tell you it's hilarious. Sure it can be too cheesy, or a little obvious at times, but every episode will have you in tears with laughter, and as a comedy show that means it's got it right.… Expand
There was genuine potential in the concept - an unqualified temp uses business "bravado" to con his way into a high-profile role in a foreign country, and each time his con is nearly exposed he must double down with a new lie a little bit more invested than the last. This is what I expected after the first five minutes of the "Increasingly" Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret; a humorous cautionary tale about the dangers of the slippery slope.
But make no mistake about it, from the very start Todd Margaret's decisions could not possibly get any worse. His lies are outrageous and he does a very poor job of covering them up (but boy does he try), and while these bits could be clever and funny, they will make you cringe far more often than you laugh. I had to fast forward a couple episodes because it was so painful to watch Todd say things that were so contemptibly stupid. This is one of the biggest flaws - a main character who is not relatable or likeable even on a comic level.
Of course, Todd's idiotic charade couldn't possibly continue but for the stupidity of his supporting cast, and, while they always seem modestly suspicious of his lies, they never quite pin him down despite the sheer absurdity of his responses. Again, I recognize that this is a comedy, so hyperbole is acceptable and even desirable, but the dialogue is so bad it breaks the fourth wall, and Todd's lines actually cross the "so stupid it's funny" line straight into "just plain stupid" territory.
I can't help but feel that Cross and Arnett have been desperately trying to capitalize on the success of Arrested Development, Arnett clearly with more success, but do yourself a favor and just demand Arrested Development. Running Wilde fell well short and Todd Margaret, I believe, falls even shorter despite its promising concept. Disappointing for sure.… Expand