Reviews: The Critic

One of the few shows that did film parodies right

The Critic was a brilliant, hilarious series that should've lasted far longer than it did. That's all I could say, but I'd like to point out how this series managed to remain hilarious to me, who was born about the time it went off the air and had no knowledge of some of the films being parodied.

For one, when they parodied then-current films, they managed to work in a joke that would ensure it would still be funny despite being dated. For instance: in one episode, Jay reviews The Slide Whistle, which parodies the movie The Piano. I did not get the reference until a few months ago, yet it was still hilarious because - well, here's how the scene went:

(Holly Hunter is practicing her slide whistle. A man comes out from behind a curtain and says:) "The time has come for us to make love." (The slide whistle goes up. She goes behind the curtain. The man says:) "What do you think of me naked?" (The slide whistle goes down.)

It's funnier on the screen, but in general the parodies of then-current movies are still funny because they don't dwell on things you have to see the movie to know about. I will admit, there are jokes that are dated - as there are in The Simpsons - but for the most part, a lot of the jokes aren't dated in a way that you KNOW they are, and even the movie parodies are for the most part recognizable - and, as I said above, they threw in jokes that you could get even if you don't know the reference.

This is the kind of referential humor that is funny - where you don't need to know what they're parodying to get the joke. It's also the kind that The Critic excelled at.